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‘Divergent’ makes dystopia seem larger than life

'Divergent' hits theaters March 21
'Divergent' hits theaters March 21
Photo by Cindy Ord

Divergent

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In the much anticipated movie adaptation of the best-selling book, “Divergent” does not disappoint. Between the vantage point shots, incredible music, and all-star cast, there’s not a lot of areas for the film to go wrong. Fans of the book will also be happy that it sticks pretty close to Veronica Roth’s popular young adult novel.

Note: Veronica Roth is scheduled for this year’s L.A. Times Festival of Books on Sunday, April 13th.

Beatrice (Shailene Woodley) and her brother, Caleb (Ansel Elgort) are part of Abnegation, one of five factions, known for its selflessness, with their parents played by Ashley Judd and Scandal president Tony Goldwyn. The movie opens with the Beatrice and Caleb preparing for their testing day, which will tell them which faction they will be assigned to as adults. Even though the test tells them where they belong, the choice is still ultimately up to them.

Note: Woodley and Elgort will play a young couple in the upcoming movie, “The Fault in Our Stars” based on the novel by John Green.

Beatrice’s test results come back inconclusive. She doesn’t belong to any one group. She is Divergent. At the choosing ceremony, she leaves her family and decides that she wants to belong in Dauntless, the faction of the brave. No one can know she is Divergent. Plus, she's not really sure what it means, just that it might be dangerous.

Through her Dauntless training she changes her name to Tris, meets Four (Theo James) and both friends and frenemies that will decide if she will be able to remain Dauntless or be shunned without a faction. Part of the testing phase is physical, while the other part rests on the abilities of the mind. She has to go up against her own fears, but her bravery begins to reveal her true Divergent nature.

Tris must find out why Divergents are feared and what is to become of the five factions. The leader in charge (Kate Winslet) seems to have some ideas up her sleeve in order to “keep the peace." These ideas breed conformity, violence, and control. Tris must choose how far she is willing to go to stand up for what she believes.

The cast was well chosen with only one slight misstep with Mekhi Phifer as Dauntless leader, Max. Legendary composer Hans Zimmer produced the score, and the romance was more downplayed for the movie, which was a welcome decision for the action movie.

“Divergent” is the first of the trilogy of movies. Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, and Mekhi Phifer also co-star.

Final words: “Divergent” continues with the dystopian trend, but brings fresh, new faces along with it.