Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:52 pm

2 Men 1 Movie: ‘Divergent’ overcomes slow plot with cinematography, characters


Jordan’s Take:

“Divergent” is a mix of “The Hunger Games” and “Inception.”

The film starts with a basic overview of the world the main character, Beatrice “Triss” Prior (Shailene Woodley), lives in. A wall defends the city in which she lives from any unknown outsiders. This is why it reminded me of “The Hunger Games.”

You learn about a test that will place Prior in one of five factions. Upon learning of her test results, Prior has to make a decision to either follow the results or choose a faction she thinks she would fit into best.

The test is what reminded me of “Inception” because Prior is given a serum that creates hallucinations to see how she handles certain situations. The testing continues after she chooses a faction to make sure she belongs there.

The film was very well-done with great cinematography, a lot of character development, and a perfect amount of action.

The beginning of the film shows rundown buildings, which represent the destruction that befell the city in a previous war. Camera angles were noticeable in the film as they would zoom in on Prior’s face each time she was injected with a serum.

Prior’s character development made sense throughout the film because of the full explanation that you receive. You know where her story begins and how she moves forward in the film.

The action is a perfect amount to accent the development of Prior and the mysterious character of Tobias “Four” Eaton (Theo James). One of my favorite scenes is when the characters played a version of capture the flag. The initiates, as they are called in the faction, are introduced to dart guns that simulate an actual gunshot wound for two minutes.

The actors were perfectly cast, including Kate Winslet, who played the antagonist Jeanine Matthews. She made you hate her with her arrogance and self-righteousness.

I’ll give “Divergent” an A because of its splendid acting and intense action throughout the movie. It has nearly everything anyone could ask for.


Ethan’s Take:

“Divergent” has everything you could ask for — except a decent-paced storyline.

I haven’t read the book, so the only thing I understood about the movie prior to the opening credits was that it was about a girl called a divergent. I was pleasantly surprised by the enveloping story about a basically average girl (Woodley) and the dystopian world that she is a part of. Woodley’s character, Prior, first faces the decision to leave home and follow her desires. But then she must choose to risk her life to save others. 

The main problem with the film is the time it takes to understand what the main conflict of the movie is and what role Prior plays.

The movie runs two hours and 30 minutes, and the plot doesn’t make any real progress for at least an hour and a half. That first hour and a half is all about character development and Prior’s progress within her faction: the Dauntless. As interesting as that is, it isn’t the main conflict of the movie. The main conflict revolves around two other factions and their rivalry and what Prior needs to do to save lives.

With that being said, “Divergent” has a lot of great qualities. I noticed the amazing music numerous times and how well it complements the adventure of the movie. The electronic and techno music, primarily by Ellie Goulding, seems to ebb and flow well with what each scene needs.

The graphics and action are strong points of the movie as well. I often notice scenes in other movies where something is poorly rendered, but I didn’t notice any of that in “Divergent.”

The only downside of the fighting is the inconsistency of the ammo-capacity of weapons. In some scenes, a pistol can fire non-stop without the need to reload, and in others, there only happens to be two shots before it is empty. There also seems to be some inconsistencies with people having their weapons drawn and holstered from scene to scene.

It is refreshing to see the main character lose physical fights that she should lose despite being the protagonist. Often in movies the protagonist is invulnerable but in “Divergent” Prior actually loses fights against bigger, stronger opponents.

I’ll give “Divergent” an A. Is “Divergent” perfect? No, but A-students aren’t, either. The acting, action, story, graphics and music help “Divergent” earn a high grade.

I’ll give “Divergent” an A. Is “Divergent” perfect? No, but A-students aren’t, either. The acting, action, story, graphics and music help “Divergent” earn a high grade.