Imagine a world divided into groups based on virtues. Now imagine if you had to choose one of those virtues, and therefore one of those groups, to live by and with for the rest of your life. Which would you choose and why?
Divergent, the movie adaptation of Veronica Roth's hugely popular novel, explores this concept, as well as the idea of one choice defining you, when it hits the big screen tomorrow.
Starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet, Divergent is set in post-war Chicago, a couple of hundred years in the future, with society split into five distinct groups, all based on human virtues – Erudite (those who are smart), Amity (those who are kind), Candor (those who are honest), Dauntless (those who are brave), and Abnegation (those who are selfless). The choice in which group people join is based heavily on tests that are meant to show "who they truly are."
But what if the tests don't come back with one clear answer and you don't fit into a particular group? Or what if you just don't want to?
This is the dilemma facing Tris Prior, the selfless, smart AND brave heroine who was born into Abnegation. Her tests show not one but three virtues meaning Tris is Divergent; she's different, and therefore considered to be dangerous because society can't control her.
What follows is Tris's epic battle to survive. While she makes the choice initially to join Dauntless, Tris knows that with the powers-that-be on a mission to get rid of any Divergents, she needs to keep her status a secret in order to stay alive.
So what did I think were the best things about Divergent?
1) Divergent is a great mix of sci-fi, action, comedy (at times), and romance – it really is the type of movie to please the guys and the girls. Plus it's really well paced. Divergent sneaks into the 2+ hours territory, however I never once felt bored or wondered, "Can I go hoooome yet?"
2) As someone who hasn't read the books, Divergent did a great job of covering all the bases. The story made sense from start to finish, and I never got the sense that there were sequences that only people who've read the books would understand.
3) The casting is spot on – Shailene Woodley is perfect as Tris and Theo James is awesome as the male lead, Four. He's dark, brooding, mysterious…and incredibly hot. Kate Winslet, who plays the villain Jeanine, is also amazing (yet again…gee, what a surprise!) and Aussie actor Jai Courtney kills it as Dauntless's slightly creepy Eric.
4) The Divergent soundtrack rocks! I know, I know, what a weird thing to comment on but seriously – Skrillex, Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky? Yes please!
All in all, I loved Divergent and think it's a movie that's definitely worth seeing. As I mentioned, I hadn't read the books prior and didn't really know what to expect – I was definitely apprehensive going into the theatre. That said, I came out raving and can't wait until Insurgent and Allegiant hit cinemas in 2015 and 2016 respectively.