Can you imagine a society where you are put into categories based on your capabilities in life skills? "Divergent" puts it all into perspective and will make you think carefully about your own self and where you would fit into a world of factions.
Created by author Veronica Roth, a faction-based civilization is supposed to help the society function by enhancing and training residents to express who they are and show their strengths and weaknesses. The various factions all contribute those capabilities to maintain their society in a post-war period of time.
Set in Chicago, the five factions are: Amity, Erudite, Abnegation, Candor and Dauntless. Those in Amity believe in peace; the Erudite faction is about intellect; Candor members believe in honesty and order; the Dauntless faction houses the protectors; and Abnegation, the ruling faction, is about being selfless and giving.
The main character we follow is Tris (Shailene Woodley), a young girl whose family belongs to the Abnegation faction. She thinks of others before herself and is not vain. They lead a simple life. But it becomes complicated for all teenagers, regardless of faction, who enter “adulthood” in this society.
A rite of passage, which is not optional, takes place in a choosing ceremony. You might think once you’re born into a faction that you’re permanently a part of that lifestyle, however one can switch if he or she desires, but they must stay once the decision is made. If one chooses to leave the new faction, he or she then becomes “faction-less.” They’re the outcasts. And as every character shows: no one wants to be there.
Tris makes a choice which will change her forever. Her life becomes much more than the simpler one of the past as she chooses a new faction. But is it really where she belongs?
Along the journey, she makes new friends, who are Christina (Zoe Kravitz), Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes, ‘Great Expectations’) and Al (Christian Madsen, ‘Palo Alto’). There is a particular person she meets who supports her and becomes a confidant, maybe even more. His name is Four. Played by Theo James (TV’s ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Underworld: Awakening’), Four is the man who is most like Tris. He is instantly connected with her by a secret they must keep and becomes her partner in facing the gravest of circumstances.
With that said, I’ll leave you all in suspense, especially those who haven’t read the book. This film contains a great magnitude of actors besides the dynamic leads. Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn are a few. Winslet is Jeanine, the “bad guy” type and leader of the Erudite faction. It was refreshing to see her play a ruthless character. Judd and Goldwyn play Tris’ warm-hearted and brave parents.
While you’re watching, and highly recommended that you do, think about who you are and what you would do to retain your sense of self.