In a world where the population is divided into factions by personality types, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is classified as Divergent. When she uncovers a conspiracy to eliminate all Divergents, she teams with the mysterious Four (Theo James) to find out what makes the powers-that-be so frightened of them. Kate Winslet also stars in this action thriller adapted from the novel by Veronica Roth, and directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless).~Jason Buchanan
Audio commentary with director Neil Burger
Audio commentary with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher
I saw the movie in the theater and this is a movie that I wanted to get the DVD as well. Having not read the books, I wanted to learn more about the the 5 factions that society was divided into and the bonus features helped to explain a little more. I look forward to the sequel and think this franchise can be as big as the Hunger Games. Shailene Woodley is a beautiful and strong actress. Hopefully similar movies like the Giver and The Host.
While long removed from the film’s young adult target audience, I like a good movie. In particular, I’m always on the lookout for some science fiction opportunities. In a not particularly new premise established here, we are set in a somewhat distant future Chicago. The world, or at least Chicago, is in a crumbled state. We’re not sure what happened but the city is encircled in a giant electrified fence. The humans have been living and working together but in 5 unique and distinct sects. Each of the 5 are characterized by their primary human traits. For example Dauntless or The Brave are the warrior-soldiers who protect the population. Abnegation or The Selfless essentially run the government. Erudite or The Intelligent are the scientists, the thinkers. The others are Amity or The Peaceful and Candor or The Honest. I found it interesting that each faction had to have its own dictionary definition to go along with its name.
Each year a group of teens are tested to determine which faction they are best suited for. They don’t have to go there - they can go anywhere - but there they must stay. Our heroine Beatrice/Tris (rising star Shailene Woodley) resides with her parents (Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn) and her teen brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) as part of Abnegation. After being tested by a sympathetic Tori (Maggie Q), it is determined that Tris has no specific faction she is cut out for. People like this are called Divergents and are considered problematic by the Erudite. These people are prime contenders to lead rebellions against the current way of life. Tori advises Tris to keep the results to herself. She would be in danger if found out.
Once at the decision point, Tris surprises everyone by choosing Dauntless. She heads off for training immediately on the outskirts of the city. She and others who defect from other factions are placed under the training tutelage of Four (newcomer Theo James). The middle section of the film deals with the trials and tribulations of Tris’s adaptation to a soldier lifestyle, something she obviously isn’t prepared for. But she is determined and smart and then there is Four. He’s also smart, tough and real cute. The filmmakers don’t hide much, showing that Tris has a big crush on her trainer.
The final act digs deeper into the Erudite’s desire to control both the government and the people. These means an overthrow of the Abnegation including Tris’s father who is a councilman. A serum has been developed in secret that will cause the Dauntless to mindlessly follow the orders of the controlling Erudite headed by Jeannine (Kate Winslet). Tris and Four are unaffected by the serum and work together to pull the plug.
“Divergent” is an entertaining enough film. It will certainly draw comparisons to the “Twilight” franchise and more closely to “The Hunger Games.” Is there room for more? Well, we’ll see, but I suspect yes. Woodley and James work well together and are believable in their roles. Sequel(s) are coming. As far as this film. It is much better than any of the “Twilight” films, but falls short of “The Hunger Games” in terms of content and production value
A lot of folks compare Divergent to Hunger games, and they're right! I saw this at the theater on opening week and wanted to go back, but never made it. So I've been waiting anxiously for it to come out on DVD. In the interim I began to wonder if I was going to enjoy it as much on the small screen. I've gotta say, I love it at least as much now as I did then, if not more. The characters are solid creations, the writing is fabulous, and even the sets are easily believable. You can look at this future Chicago and say "yeah, I could believe that's how things could look in 100 years. Shailene Woodley is fabulous as Tris. You can believe that this young woman is just that good, and has the strength and courage to face the things she does. And Tris' relationship with Four is genuine and strong, without it taking over the plot. Not to mention that Theo James, as Four, is a handsome young man! They learn that they can trust one another early on and that trust deepens throughout the movie. It's very nice to have a relationship that just grows, without the soap opera angst that you so often see in this type of movie. Kate Winslet, as Jeanine is a very low key, driven villain, quietly frightening as she creates her own version of hell on earth. One actress/role that I fell in love with instantly, was Ashley Judd, as Tris' mother, Natalie. She was very much the earth mother type, but shows her fangs and claws when things got rough. I just wish she had a bigger role in the movie! Finally, as this is the first role I've seen her in, I have got to say that Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet created quite a lovely, talented child in Zoe Kravitz ;) Finally, Jai Courtney, as Eric, is the embodiment of cold, heartless evil!
I could go on and on, but I'll simply finish by saying, see this movie!
This first chapter in the Divergent series turns Shailene Woodley into an action star. A future world of a organized society that separates special human talents to improve the roles of humans in a controlled society. This movie was great enough to create sequals that were worthy. Moral dilemmas , values and individual contributions will be evaluated. Great film. Bought this in the 4K Ultra HDR version . Looked great and the sound field was execellent.
This review is from Divergent [4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray]