‘Divergent’ movie poster. Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater
“Divergent” is classic science fiction, the context of the story being a post-apocalyptic society divided into five “factions” and a coming of age personality test to fit young people into one of them. Seeing the film has made this sci-fi fan want to read the books.
Divergent is, like the book from which it originates, directed at an audience of young adults (YA) and teens. (We were witness to this most poignantly in the squeals of delight from the teens throughout the audience when the protagonists finally kissed ─ really!)
As with many YA action adventures these days, the story sets up a young woman in a struggle for survival, ultimately requiring a violent overcoming of odds. Divergent celebrates the typical teenage angst of feeling different, and the need of young people (and hopefully us older folks as well) to stand up for what is right against the powers that be.
As much as we enjoy the adventure in this film, we aren’t really surprised by the plot or the characters. The imaginative culture and possible future do, however, help to maintain our interest throughout.
Most notable is Shailene Woodley, who plays the central character, Tris. She impressed us in “The Descendents” in 2011, playing Alexandra, the troubled older daughter to George Clooney’s character. She is already a seasoned actress at just 22 years of age and carries her part well in “Divergent.”
You and your young adult or older teenage kids will enjoy this film. It will make you wonder afterwards which faction you might fit into in that society: Erudite, Amity, Candor, Dauntless or Abnegation. Or, are you Divergent?