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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Divergent

The size of the Young Adult Fiction Market in 2009 was estimated at about $3 billion!!! (yes – with a “buh” – Alan Harper).  A certain Veronica Roth was terribly cued into this market at published her first book “Divergent” somewhere in 2011.  Even before she graduated, the movie rights were sold.


Then 22 and now 25 year old, has since released 2 more to complete the trilogy – Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant.  Together they have matched Hunger Games in terms of book sales and fan clubs and revenues.  I my limited capacity I have counted over 20 twitter handles for the book / movie across the world.

Sadly, the movie – and I assume the book as well – turns out to be a mash up between Harry Potter and Hunger Games and Mortal Instruments and whatever it is that you can think of under this fascinating segment (I am told that genre is not the correct term) called – Young Adult Fiction and Fantasy.

The world as we know it has come to an end after the Great War that happened 100+ years ago.  Now, it is limited to the windy city which has been walled in – or should I say wired in.  This, like in most novels / movies of a similar genre (ooops segment), is for the people’s own good.

The general populace has been divided into 5 factions. Erudite (Blue), Candor (Black and Whites), Amity (Yellow and Red), Dauntless (Black and Red) and Abnegation (Grey).  Each based on virtues of Intelligence/Knowledge, Honesty, Peace, Fearlessness and Selflessness respectively.


Citizens are allowed to move factions at the right time that is preceded by a test that indicates which faction they are best suited for.  However, if the test results don’t point in a particular direction they are a threat to the peace of the world.  They are non-conformists. They are those who dare to think beyond.  They are DIVERGENT.  (They should have used this line in the trailer I say!!!).

So it will come as no surprise to you to learn that our heroine, Beatrice aka Tris (Shailene Woodley) is Divergent.  From thereon, the story goes onto a dark plan by the Erudite to overthrown Abnegation from Government responsibilities led by ruthless Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet).  Somewhere along the way are predictable training exercises, a love story and some half baked fights.

Shailene Woodley seems to have reached her pinnacle with The Descendants where she played the rebel 16 year old daughter to George Clooney.  A horrid Television show and a couple of movies later she seems to have reached – what I can only hope – rock bottom.  Hopefully she will not appear as listless and disinterested going forward.

There is no one who performs with intensity or commitment to any of their roles including the brilliant Kate Winslet who seems plastic in her role as the evil Erudite.  I guess all fingers point towards Neil Burger who also doesn’t find himself directing Allegiant or Insurgent. That has been moved to Robert Schwentke (RED / R.I.P.D).

In all, the teeny boppers will probably swoon over Theo James who plays Four (yes – because 1,2 and 3 were taken as per the candid Christina – really corny dialogue). But, for the adults, it will only turn out to be a 2 hour sleep session.  Disappointing in execution. Average in story.  5 on 10.

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