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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Movie review: Divergent is not powerful enough

Anuja Jaiman, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 11, 2014
First Published: 18:15 IST(11/4/2014) | Last Updated: 14:16 IST(12/4/2014)

Neil Burger's Divergent is an action movie that promises to be a sci-fi adventure ride, but fails to keep up.

Based on Veronica Roth's book, which is defined as a science fiction meant for young adults, the movie is unable to justify the title and its selling line altogether.

Divergent is about Beatrice Prior's (Shailene Woodley) journey to Chicago's grim, dystopian society that is divided into five factions, to seek where she truly belongs.

The movie seems promising at the offset, when it is established that the faction comes before your own blood. One undergoes a test to determine who belongs where and you are free to make a choice based on your true calling.

The five factions are erudite, candour, abnegation, amity and dauntless, which are self explanatory in nature. If you do not belong in any of these, you are an outcast or divergent.


Reasons why Divergent doesn't deliver is that the journey is not powerful enough. It loses track and seems purposeless soon enough. Except for the tests, where a state of hallucination is achieved, the movie does not justify its sci-fi tag.

It has its moments though. Two especially stood out for me -- the fall into an unknown and a celebratory ritual travel across the city. The latter, in 3D, should be an interesting watch.

The need to belong in a certain faction, based on your strengths, skills reminded me of Plato's Republic. Add Kate Winslet to that, and you would have your hopes notched up.

Winslet, the leader of erudite, is wasted in this movie.

Watch it only if you have not seen Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Hunger Games and Inception and don't want to miss any of Kate Winslet's movies.

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