Divergent earns mixed reviews

  Set in the dystopian city of Chicago, Divergent, directed by Neil Burger, thrills some first time viewers but unsettles others who have read the book by Veronica Roth.

   The movie used time wisely- setting the post-apocalyptic scene and expanding on the major conflicts with a running time of 143 minutes according to The New York Times movie review.  The film is rated PG-13 due to some violence and thematic elements.

  The movie begins by illustrating that the city of Chicago had been divided into five factions based on  single personality traits: Amity for peacefulness, Candor for honesty, Erudite for intelligence, Abnegation for selflessness, and Dauntless for courage.

  Senior Kathryn Jackson did not appreciate the movie’s aberration from the book’s plot line but would recommend the movie to people who have not read the book.

  “It showed a good representation of the culture of the factions,” said Jackson. “But the information from the book could have been more accurate.”

  Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior, who is portrayed by Shailene Woodley, was born into Abnegation but takes the aptitude test to determine the faction best suited for her and discovers she is a mix of factions, making her Divergent.  Concealing her inconclusive results, Tris chooses the Dauntless faction and dedicatedly trains both her physical strength and mental capabilities.  Upon meeting a handsome trainer known as Four, who is played by Theo James, Tris develops a strong connection with him.  With the help of Four, Tris must embody her newfound courage and stop the cruel Erudite leader, Jeanine Matthews, played by Kate Winslet, who is trying to take down Abnegation.

  All of the actors masterfully stepped into their roles. Woodley seamlessly played the courageous and dynamic Tris Prior, Winslet portrayed Jeanine Matthews as a cunning and power-hungry woman, James embodied both the masculinity and sensitivity of Four, and all of the supporting actors expertly stepped into their characters.

  Burger, who is well-known as a film director for Limitless (2011), The Illusionist (2006), and The Lucky Ones (2008), took audiences on an emotional and suspenseful journey with smartly cast roles.

  Sophomore Megan Keuler enjoyed the movie and praised the actors’ abilities but appreciated the book more.

  “They picked a good main character for Tris,” said Keuler. “They were all good at portraying their characters, but I thought it was too short because they took out a lot of important details.”

  Several other viewers who have read the book have already expressed slight discontent in the plot line on screen.  English teacher Jessica Beste, who has read the book and is looking forward to seeing the movie, is interested to find out how the two compare.

  “I like to figure out if the movie correlates to the book because for me it’s important to make sure that there is a clear comparison between the two,” said Beste. “I hope it’s exciting, and I’m interested to see if the actress who plays Beatrice plays out like I imagined her to be.”

  Almost immediately after its release, Divergent was compared to The Hunger Games because of its similar female heroine and dystopian society.  However, the plotlines differ enough that Divergent is satisfying in itself.

  The sequel, Insurgent, is set to release on March 20, 2015.