Archive | 12:48 PM

Divergent Movie- Did They Change Too Much?

24 Mar

I saw the Divergent movie Friday night with Nicole and my husband and I’m still not sure what I thought of it. I read the book last month and knew that a film would be different, but I wasn’t sure how different. There were things I thought were very well done, things that were taken out I’m still wondering why, things that changed that didn’t bother me, and there were some changes I couldn’t really wrap my head around. I was hoping to discuss here so we can talk about it and decide what to think.

Things I Thought Were Awesome
My favorite part of the movie (and my husband’s as well) was the zipline. It’s hard to describe in words what a zipline like that would look like, but the visual portrayal was awesome. I loved it.

Eric. I think Jai Courtney was absolutely amazing. When I was reading the book, I pictured Eric as a smaller guy but a huge bully. Courtney’s portrayal of him made my heart clench because he really was scary at times. The image fit his character very well.

Dauntless initiates welcome dinner. I loved that the Dauntless picked all the initiates up and honored them. It was a great way to show that they were connected and had a strong community. With how rushed the other Dauntless scenes had to be, I think this was really good to show.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me
Taking out Ed. I think what Peter does to Tris is enough to develop his character and his attack on Ed doesn’t need to be in the plot for it to still make sense.

The capture the flag scene. They changed the setting from an open field to a tall building, but I could live with it because it looked awesome. Yes, Tris got the flag instead of Christina, but I thought Christina grabbing the flag from in front of Tris was a little out of character and damaged an otherwise healthy relationship between Tris and Christina. I liked that the fight with Molly was during this scene instead of by itself.

Tris wasn’t short. It was mentioned so many times in the book but didn’t develop her character for me. I liked this change.

The actor playing Tobias was almost 30. I was worried before I saw the film, but when I did see it, it worked for me. The ages of Tris and Tobias were stressed so much in the book; she’s 16 and he’s 18. But the film didn’t stress this. We’re never told the age of those in the choosing ceremony and it’s never said that Tobias is two years older than them. So it didn’t matter that Woodley is 22 (+6 years) and James is 29 (+11 years). It still worked.

Dauntless-born initiates. In the book, this other group featured prominently, but the movie only had them in a few scenes. This didn’t really bother me because they don’t come into play much in this book, but I could see missing Uriah being an issue in the second and third books.

Al and Will looked like twins. Maybe this was just me, but the actors looked alike and had very similar haircuts. I would get them mixed up a lot.

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why
Tobias being drunk when he’s first nice to Tris. I know this seems small, but I felt like it was the first time she sees him relaxed and I thought it was important that it wasn’t natural for him, it was something he needed alcohol to feel. I understand a teen audience and not wanting to encourage alcohol, but I still think it could have been done easily.

Visitation day. Having her mom visit her during a working day instead of explaining visitation day doesn’t really make sense. My husband pointed out that her mom visiting Tris and not being able to visit Caleb helped further the tension between Abnegation and Erudite, but having her mom show up on a truck doesn’t do this.

Romance between Christina and Will. For those who have read further into the trilogy, this becomes more important because Christina holds a grudge against Tris for killing him. It was there, but very played down in my opinion.

Things That Changed Too Much
Tris’s mother’s death. I understand that dying to protect Tris was still the essence of what happened, but having her run out to protect Tris instead of completely sacrificing herself so Tris could escape didn’t seem like a necessary change to me. It would have taken just as much time to do it the way Roth wrote it, so what’s the point?

The entire scene where Tobias is under a simulation. Okay, what? I lost it in the theater. It was supposed to be just Tris and Tobias and instead there were about 20 Erudite there, Jeannine included, and they’re all fighting Tris. Tobias doesn’t know how to shut down the simulation and they have to give Jeannine an injection to get her to do it. What?! It made sense as an ending, but it wasn’t Roth’s ending at all. There was nothing wrong with Roth’s ending, but this one is completely different. I know why they did it and it pisses me off. They were afraid that the movie would bomb, like the City of Bones movie did and that there wouldn’t be sequels so this had to stand by itself. Okay, I get that, I really do. But I ask, isn’t the largest audience for this movie fans of the book? And how do you think fans of the book felt about changing the ending so drastically? If my opinion can count for anything, we didn’t like it much!

I had a great conversation with some other fans waiting to pee after the movie. (This is what I get for drinking my husband’s Coke.) We ultimately said that if we hadn’t read the books, we would have loved the movie as a stand-alone piece. This was how Nicole felt about it, not having yet read the books. However, being a fan of the written words, it was disappointing. At least it ended on a disappointing note. Kind of a let down.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Divergent movie? Did it change the book too much for you to enjoy? Do you think Insurgent will be made into a film? Was there anything else you would add to my lists?

If you’re feeling like we need more of a conversation, click on over to my Facebook fan page where I started this conversation yesterday and see what others are saying.

Until next time, write on.