Young-adult books remain crazy popular these days, but when it comes time to adapt them into major motion pictures, the results can vary. “Divergent,” now in theaters, is based upon the best-selling trilogy from author Veronica Roth. Is it the new “Hunger Games?” Could be.
If vampires, werewolves and fantastic technology aren’t exactly your cup of tea, worry not, because “Divergent” presents a much simpler world than past young-adult hits “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.”
“Divergent” is set in near-future Chicago, where society is strictly segregated into five factions. Selfless people live in Abnegation, the peaceful are in Amity, the truthful are in Candor, the highly intelligent in Erudite and the brave reside in Dauntless, who also serve as Chicago’s police force.
Enter our hero, Beatrice (Shailene Woodley). Though she was raised in Abnegation, living not unlike the Amish do, she has reached young adulthood and must take the test to help her choose which faction to live out the rest of her life with.
The test is a drug-induced dream that presents a series of life threatening problems. How one reacts to these stimuli suggests which faction they should choose. Unfortunately for Beatrice, she’s an anomaly known as a divergent. Her results are inconclusive — she is smart, selfless and brave.
Also bad for her are the people who are hunting down divergents and getting rid of them. What’s a girl to do?
I had not read the trilogy, but film one was so good that I’m seriously considering picking up the books now.
“Divergent” is well-cast. Woodley, who co-starred with George Clooney in “The Descendents,” is believable without trying too hard. She’s a natural.
Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, Maggie Q and Kate Winslet also star and do terrific jobs.
The person most people are talking about, however, is actor Theo James, who plays Four. The British heartthrob is more than just a pretty face in this picture; I think we’ll be seeing him again.
“Divergent” is highly engaging and relatable. It’s an interesting thriller, and … I’m a big fan!
See? I promised no vampires or werewolves, and I kept my word.