I haven't done a movie review in months, possibly years. I used to do them in my blog, and even though they are strictly subjective, I love it when people comment to discuss the movies or think my reviews serve some purpose.
I watched Divergent last Friday, not knowing it was the premiere day. All I know is that I love the series, and I like the kick-ass heroine, and I also like Shailene Woodley. I have to admit that the actors are not my personal choices for the movie adaptations - Theo James is smouldering hot but not Four-hot, Zoe Kravitz is no Christina, and Tris is, in my mind as well as the book, short, flat-chested, tiny and feisty, which despite my love for Woodley, does not fit her at all.
That being said, I have to say that all actors contribute something to each character they represent to the point that I see a certain kind vulnerability on screen. Theo James surprisingly fits his role like a glove - he's ambiguous, with a hint of kindness that he does not explicitly show. The parents and the villains are nicely portrayed but that, I think, is no surprise - Ashley Judd and Kate Winslet are wonderful. In terms of size, I almost hope Kravitz and Woodley have switched - Zoe Kravitz's small figure is more Tris than Woodley's tall and curvy figure. I have always imagined that Tris is the small, average looking girl and Christina the va-va-voom femme fatale with good looks to boot. Anyway, regardless of size, let's just talk about Tris.
Shailene Woodley gives Tris fear - that is certain. What I'm disappointed of is that she looks like a deer in headlights for most scenes. It might serve the movie well when Tris was actually confused and uncertain for most parts in the first book, but she is also tough, she does not back down, and she hides her fear well. That is not the case with Woodley, who does not lend her character the toughness she needs to portray.
The romance takes a back seat, understandably, but it also progresses too fast and too random at some point when we get an important scene between the two of them, it does not sizzle with chemistry. The plot moves at a quick pace, which is lovely to watch, but there are plenty of action scenes that I wish could have been more kick-ass.
The movie is definitely flawed, but as a fan of the book, I really like how the dystopian Chicago is portrayed. I love the directing by Neil Burger, I love the cinematography - everything just looks so real, worn down, beautiful! And the soundtrack fits the movie perfectly; there are scenes that need to be heightened up and the music does just that. My favorite scene is when Tris goes flying down back to headquarter the Dauntless way.
I've mentioned that while I've watched many book-movie adaptations - the Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Twilight, the Host, this one is the one I enjoy the most. It still holds true even now, and although I'm not perfectly happy with it, I'll definitely wait on the sequels with excitement.
By the way, that poster is seriously boring.