Synopsis: Read on IMDB
Should you watch this movie? Not the best of the YA book adaptations out there, but enjoyable enough for a night out at the movies. It would probably spark conversations afterwards.
In a dystopian future, the city Chicago’s society is divided into 5 factions (based on certain personality traits) as a way to keep the peace: Erudite (the intelligent), Amity (the friendly), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), and Abnegation (the selfless). During an aptitude test, Tris Prior finds out she is “divergent”, meaning she fits into more than one faction and is thus encouraged to hide the fact. When another faction develops a plan to destroy all Divergents, Tris, embarks on a quest to find out why Divergents are so dangerous.
The movie works out a premise that many in the “young adult” category will find appealling: the quest for individuality and to find your own voice in a world that pushes you to fit in. It explains why the book in which the movie is based became a best seller. It definitely beats some of the alternatives out there (mainly this one) and puts it in the same category as The Hunger Games.
Shailene Woodley plays the title character, Tris. She does a good balance of sweet, good girl type who can surprise you with her kick-ass fighting skills. There is quite an exceptional supporting cast in Ashley Judd, Theo James (if you are a Downton Abbey fan, that would be Mr. Kemal Pamuk to you!), Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtenay, Miles Teller, and Kate Winslet. They perform their usual (if you liked them before, you’ll still like them here, if you didn’t then you won’t. Simple).
Overall the movie is entertaining and you may not leave the theater demanding your money back. However, it can feel at certain point the plot is not cohesive and it keeps adding a bunch of stuff without much direction. At point you think the movie could be done, but then it goes on. At least it is not boring to watch.
Bechdel Test: Pass
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it Yes, including the ones with top billing (Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet). Also Zoe Kravitz, Ashley Judd, Maggie Q support.
2. Who talk to each other Indeed they do! It is quite refreshing to see!
3. About something besides a man Of course there are conversations about the man candy in question because why not (have you seen him?). There are discussions about other men in a competition context rather than romantic, too, but there is a variety of dialog related to the overall situation.
Does it matter? It does. It is great for women to see other women as protagonist of stories like this with equally strong female supporting performances
Paola’s mood after watching this movie: