Can’t wait for the next installment in THE HUNGER GAMES franchise? Then why not get excited for the release of another YA adaptation in the form of DIVERGENT, based on the book series by Veronica Roth. After all, the author herself is very excited and has even gone so far as to release a review of the movie. Obviously the original creators of novels don’t have to follow the rules of embargoes like the rest of us; one rule for us…
A few weeks ago I packed up a suitcase and flew to LA and bought some Milk Duds and watched the Divergent movie.
You know. As one does. (?!!)
It’s hard to prepare yourself for an experience like that, watching something that once existed only in your brain re-created on such a large scale. Every so often, as I was watching, I would flash back to this image of myself in pajama pants with really gross hair typing away on my computer, and then juxtapose it over the gorgeous shot of the Sears Tower or Navy Pier or the Abnegation sector on this big screen in front of me, and it was so ridiculously awesome and surreal I just wanted to laugh and cry all at once.
As usual, I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I’ll keep my comments vague and brief so that you can enter the movie with relatively clean slates. But I will tell you…
I loved it.
I was completely absorbed by it. Even though I am so familiar with this story, I clearly remember grabbing the arms of my chair when Tris runs to catch the train after the Choosing Ceremony because I was nervous that she wouldn’t make it. (And then I thought to myself…YOU WROTE THE STORY, VERONICA.) It was beautifully shot—Chicago is such a gorgeous city, and to see it transformed into this futuristic wasteland was incredibly cool—and suspenseful, and the cast did a wonderful job. If I start calling people out specifically I’m just going to gush about everyone, but since Tris is very much the anchor of the series, and Four is of particular interest to many of you, I feel like I should say that Shailene Woodley as Tris and Theo James as Four are everything I hoped for (or maybe more than I dared to hope for). And we were so lucky to have Neil Burger driving this—his vision of the world, the amazing details and subtleties of it, his understanding of the story, and how seriously he took every part of it…I mean, you can tell. You can see it everywhere.
I was nervous to see it, as I think any author whose book is being adapted for the screen would be, but I remember remarking when I first went to set that everyone involved with the movie seemed so thoughtful about the story they were helping to build, and I feel like the final product reflects that. I can’t wait for you guys to see it on March 21st! I also can’t wait to see it again!
Now obviously Roth needs the film to do well so that sequels are made and more money comes her way, but that’s no reason to discount her opinion entirely. After all, Stephen King hated THE SHINING when adapted by Stanley Kubrick, although that may just prove that author’s don’t always know what’s best for their stories.
There’s also a new TV Spot that highlights the action elements of the story as well as offering viewers a chance to be in the sequel (were one to be made) by prebooking tickets. Finally, there’s a featurette focusing on the character of Four. Overall this all seems like a major marketing push for a film which could grab a fair sized audience, but let’s not forget the box-office disappointments of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES, showing that popular female-centric Young Adult adaptations don’t always rake in big cinematic crowds.
DIVERGENT is released on 21st March in the US and on 4th April in the UK. It stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Kate Winslet, Ansel Elgort, Theo James, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, and Jai Courtney.