Plot: Haunted by memories of the Dauntless attack, Tris must find a place of safety. But she cannot protect herself from her own mind. Even her relationship with Four is on edge when she cannot tell him the truth.
But Tris must come to terms with what has happened. Jeanine is after the Divergents; all of them. Facing threats from friend and foe alike, Tris must undertake the hardest test of them all; she has to forgive herself. Secrets are dangerous and the biggest of all is about to be revealed. One that will change everything Trish thought she knew.
Quote: `This is what happens to people that get close to me. They get hurt or they die. I can’t forgive myself.`
Opinion: Divergent was a rare film as I preferred it to the book. Having not enjoyed the second book, I was curious to see how they would handle the adaptation. It digressed from the original storyline, but enough elements were kept the same for it to finish in the right place and therefore make the third film possible.
The film gets stronger the further through you get. The first half is a lot of talk and not a lot of action. Scenes and mind-sets must be established for the rest of the film to make sense. As it is the second film, this felt like it dragged too long. It stayed true to the book and Tris’ thoughts are an essential part to the plot. However, it struggled to keep me engaged and seemed to stretch on for a long time.
The second half is stronger, mainly because action is taking place. The special effects team were given a longer leash and told to go and play. While the effects were outstandingly executed, it felt over the top; as if it compensating for the first half by throwing whatever they could at the second.
Not enough characters were given screen time. Four and Christina play crucial roles in the books with their relationships with Tris. Four (Theo James) especially was underplayed, only showing up in the nick of time to rescue Tris time and time again. She proved herself a worthy fighter so it steered clear of the damsel in distress theme but there was no opportunity for any character development – especially given the personal circumstances of Four’s past that are present in the film.
Shailene Woodley gives a strong performance as Tris. She blends together the strong fighter and the vulnerable and emotional girl. We see Tris fighting for what she thinks is right even though she has no faith in herself. Woodley portrays that effectively without the risk of Tris becoming annoying through her constant doubts.
While it is not a film I would run back to straight away, I enjoyed it. If you liked the first, you’ll enjoy the second. Adaptations are limited in their plots; the faults are true of the book as much as the film. Good entertainment and strong acting all around.