Divergent

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I always enjoy films that create an idea of Utopia where there are no wars and everyone is happy. Divergent is one of these films where an idea has been put in place to prevent wars and allow the human population to live free and happy lives within a faction. Unfortunately the people are not quite as free as they think they are as they are very much controlled by a big brother type group who try to make a better world by watching over and controlling those under each faction.

The film follows a family, particularly the daughter named Beatrice who comes from a political power, her mum and dad who are against the so called superior faction, Erudite. Erudite is someone with great knowledge learned or scholarly, which is not always the best type of person to rule. Erudite are the faction that want to take power, which leads to some interesting turns as the film goes on. Are their efforts of taking power for good? How do they intend to take power? We come into Beatrice’s life at the age of sixteen as she is about to be tested in order to find out what faction she will join, There are four factions….

Abnegation-”I choose to turn away from my reflection, to rely not on myself but on my brothers and sisters, to project always outward until I disappear.” This is the selfless faction who care for others and are incorruptible due to this virtue.

Erudite-”Ignorance is defined not as stupidity but as lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge inevitably leads to lack of understanding. Lack of understanding leads to a disconnect among people with differences. Disconnection among people with differences leads to conflict. Knowledge is the only logical solution to the problem of conflict. Therefore, we propose that in order to eliminate conflict, we must eliminate the disconnect among those with differences by correcting the lack of understanding that arises from ignorance with knowledge.”

Dauntless- “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another… We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.” This faction are the warriors protecting the people, but they have not been used as there have been no wars.

Amnity- “Give freely, trusting that you will be given what you need… Do not be angry. The opinions of others cannot damage you… The wrong is past. You must let it rest where it lies… You must no longer think cruel thoughts. Cruel thoughts lead to cruel words, and hurt you as much as they hurt their target.” This faction wants peace.

Beatrice takes the test and her results are inconclusive meaning that she is unique and does not fit into a faction. Divergents are to be feared because they are unknown and are to be eradicated from the planet in order to keep the people safe and the government in power. This being the case leads the tester to give Beatrice the Abnegation result and advises Beatrice to never reveal her result. Once testing has finished it is time to choose your faction and yes despite your test result you still get the chance to choose the faction yourself, but you run the risk of failure which will turn you into the scurge of humanity, the factionless. Beatrice chooses Dauntless after much consideration, of course this is a risk because she is a Divergent and if she is found out she will be killed.

As a Dauntless member she needs to prove that she can fight and control her fears, but these tests are difficult because her mind works differently to everyone else. Not only does she need to pass each stage, but she has to learn how to pass the tests without giving anyone the clue that she is a Divergent, which is very difficult. She does get help along the way, but will she be found out? There is also the acts of Erudite trying to take control. How will they do this? And will it be done humanely? How do you get everyone on your side? This I cannot reveal, but I will say that computers in the wrong hands can be very dangerous.
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I really enjoyed the film and the performances from all the stars were very good, but this is not a film about performances this is about the storyline and the idea of peaceful society. It is about belonging, it is also ruthless as failures are pushed out or killed. The people have been sold a lie and they are not quite as free as they think they are. This film is also great fun and makes you question yourself, would I dare to do that? How would I control my fear and what would my fear be? What faction would you belong to?

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7/10

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5 thoughts on “Divergent

  1. Nice review. I’ve been thinking about how to review this for quite some time. I read the book. As far as adaptations go, it’s pretty good. They cut characters that become important and character stuff that I actually liked. In the books, I really only like Four. I hate the character of Tris and I hate how the author treats the the Erudite faction. Tris does nothing but whine about how hard her life is as if she expected to be easy and she takes everything personally. They tone this down in the film (up until the end voice over where I decided that watching her death on screen would bring me insurmountable joy). But that doesn’t change the erudite issue. Every single person in this series that is in or originally from the Erudite faction dies or turns out to be an asshole. It’s like the Slytherin problem. That’s not how things work. Even then, telling a story you need at least one person to stand out if you’re telling a hope-themed tale. I think I gave it five stars.

    • I haven’t read the book and my view of the film would possibly change had I done so. I enjoyed the idea of factions and the fact that of course not everyone fits. I don’t see Tris as a particularly strong character in this world and think she doesn’t quite fit my idea of a divergent. 4 is a great character though with his idea of bearing the test!

      • Any view of a film is bound to change by reading the book. Well, at least most of the time. I love the idea behind the story as well. Tris doesn’t have a particularly strong story arc, either. She is determined and willing to go to any length, she’s unrealistically strong about some things for how characteristically weak she is about other things. There is also a lot that happens that shouldn’t have happened. So yeah.

      • I may read the book! I have a giant stack of books to get through at the moment and not many film releases that I am excited about, so I might just get through them.

      • Me too! I mean, it’s mostly stuff I have to read for school. But I’m pretty sure I don’t have any movies to watch until summer kicks off. Well, it’ll still be spring. But summer for movies. Yeah. =]

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