Divergent Movie: My Thoughts

April 9, 2014 Movie Review, Reviews 23

Title: Divergent
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 139 min
Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet

In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late.


I saw this movie about two weeks ago, and now is the time that I can finally sit down and talk about what I felt. If I’m going to use one phrase to describe how I felt about the movie, it would be: “I liked it”. I really liked it.

The Cast

For me, this was the make or break aspect of the movie. I wasn’t initially sure of how good the actors would be, but I had faith that they would do a good job. Shailene & Theo really outdid themselves! They really made the movie much better. They are not acting as Tris & Four, they ARE Tris & Four. I really enjoyed their performances!

Shailene Woodley was the most surprising of the lot! I’ve seen her act before, and I never really felt blown away. She completely changed my mind! Shailene perfectly embodied Tris. Her acting was heartbreaking at parts, and made us really feel fer her. She was completely relatable as a character!

I can’t wait to see how she’ll pull off Hazel Grace!

Theo James… I have never seen such a perfect male counterpart! Theo was not initially how I pictured Four, but he really made the character his own! His actions, his lines, everything about him was just like Four! It was really surprising.

I might be drooling…

Kate Winslet was wonderful as Jeanine, and her character felt much more developed than in the book. Eric, the Dauntless leader, is ruthless in his role; loved him. I wish Christina, Will, Al, and Peter would have been more developed, but nevertheless their performances were good.

The Setting

The setting in Divergent is spot on, and it even makes it better than in the book. You understand much more what the world is and why everyone has to choose a faction. I enjoyed seeing the book come to life. I wanted to be a part of the Dauntless compound! It was amazing world-building.

The Romance

Okay, if I didn’t talk about the romance, then this review wouldn’t have been complete. The romance in this movie is at first practically non-existent. You see the chemistry between them (and their Chemistry is sizzling hot!), and you’re just biting your nails the whole time waiting for them to come together. Their romance slowly builds and when it finally comes up, it’s wonderful! Completely believable!

Is it hot in here, or…?

My Complaint

This could be due to the fact that I’m highly critical over this movie because Divergent is one of my favorite dystopian trilogies, but I expected more from this movie. Everyone that watched it praised it so much that I guess I ended up being biased.

Some parts of the movie were not originally in the book (which sometimes helped the story, and sometimes did not), and I guess I really didn’t enjoy when some parts of the book were altered.

As I stated earlier, I think that some characters should’ve been more developed. I think that some key elements of the series would have been much better if we understood the underlying relationship Tris shared with the other characters.

The Verdict

Divergent is by no means a perfect movie. However, I highly recommend you go and see it. It is not disappointing, and with Shailene & Theo’s performances you’ll be sure to enjoy the movie. I’ll go as far as to say that I think this movie surpassed The Hunger Games (NOT CATCHING FIRE). I went to see both these movies with friends who hadn’t read the books, and they ended up loving and understanding Divergent much more than The Hunger Games. 

Production has already started for Insurgent, so fingers crossed it’ll be even better than this one!

3.5 to 4 stars!

it was really good

Had to include this badass Four + Tris GIF

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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • Yes, yes, yes! Theo James is totally Four (and so HOT)!

    • Yes! I was swooning for him the whole movie! *sighs*

      • Oh, and Shailene’s scene, when her mother died, man, that made me tear up! Perfect casting 🙂

        • Yes! That part was really heartbreaking. What made it even sadder was when she told her dad about it… gah so sad.

  • Gah. Theo James gives me the tingles. Swooooon!

  • Theo James=HOT! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing this movie! great review!

  • Glad you liked the film! I didn’t like how some aspects of the movie were different from the book, either, but oh, well. I’m so excited for Insurgent, and I hope it’s even better than Divergent!

    • Yeah, some changes were unnecessary, but for the most part it was a great movie!

  • Shailene surprised me so much! I was really upset when they first cast her as Tris. I thought she was going to be terrible, but she totally caught Tris’s essence. What you said is 100% accurate. She WAS Tris.
    And Theo James…. *drools* I could just listen to that man speak all day. Oh em gee. Seriously so hot.
    I liked the movie for the most part. I wasn’t happy with some of the changes they made, but I felt like it stayed true to the spirit of the story. I also felt like the secondary characters needed to be more well-developed though. I felt like if you hadn’t read the book you wouldn’t even know who important characters like Will, Christina, and Peter were. But overall it was really good and I’m hoping the second one is even better!

    • Yeah. My friends were surprised when I told them Will & Christina were together. When Will died I was so messed up, and everyone was like “Um, he’s not that important”. He is totally important! Hopefully by the next book they’ll make it better.

  • 4 is yummy, Tris, is not my favorite actor, but I think she pulled it off pretty well, but the movie itself was FANTASTIC!

    • Yes, I agree. I didn’t think I would like her. But the movie itself was really good

  • You are so right about Four and Tris. Near perfect casting, I would say. I loved almost everyone else too except the supporting friends of Tris were kind if different from what I pictured and I got some characters mixed up because the guys looked kind of familiar. Overall, I also liked it 🙂 And yes-the chemistry! *swoon*

    • Haha yes I agree on the guys looking similar. I was confusing Al, Will & Peter all the time!

  • I’m so happy you managed to enjoy this one. I agree with the whole “shailene really proved herself in this film” although i had scene her in a few movies (outside of american teenager) where she was a fantastic actress so i knew what ti expect. Hopefully you enjoy the second movie too!
    Great movie review

  • Great work with your review Marianne, I watched Divergent and I was SO distracted by how attractive Theo James was I didn’t think I took much of it in!! I’ll have to watch it again to give it a proper review o_o but I agree all of the characters were cast really well, especially Shailene, Janine and Four of course *drools* Anyway, I couldn’t pick up which parts they changed in the movie? I knew what they had left out though?

    • Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

      There were some changes here and there; when Tris was getting a tattoo she just chose a random one (instead of the symbolic meaning and whatnot), her mom’s death (it was unclear whether the mom actually wanted to sacrifice herself for her mom and whatnot), the ending with Jeanine… some minor things here and there. I’m really picky when it comes to book to movie adaptations, lol.

  • Hah hah hah, that kissing gif is the best! I’m happy to see that you enjoyed the film, and I agree–the actors can make or break a film. I was indifferent to Shailene before this (had never seen her in anything), but I am a BIG fan of hers now–I thought she was spectacular. Didn’t overplay it, didn’t underplay it. And jeeez, Theo makes a fine Four, doesn’t he? Hee hee.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden