Directed: Neil Burger
Screenplay: Vanessa Taylor and Evan Daugherty
Music: Junkie XL
When I heard that this series was being transformed into films, it is safe to say that I was pretty excited. I loved the books and I couldn’t wait to see how they would interpret them into films. But this film was met with mixed feelings – some people loved it and some people said that it fell flat. But I think they did a pretty good job. Sci-fi-dystopians are hardly the easiest of books to change into films with all the technology, architecture and props and I think that the production company really managed to capture that futuristic aspect.
But I do think that the timing with this film is unfortunate. Whenever a new YA franchise is pushed onto the table, it is immediately compared to The Hunger Games and that really annoys me. They are two utterly different franchises and stories and they deserve to be ranked on what they accomplished, not what the other film did better. The film was very true to the book and I don’t feel that anything major was missed out. The performances were great, the dialogue was funny and I loved the on-screen chemistry that the actors had with each other. I also think that this a good film for people who haven’t read the books because everything is explained so that the viewer isn’t left feeling completely confused. I think that this was a really good starting block for the series of films to jump off and I am excited to see what future films will be like.
The film follows a young girl 16 year old girl named Beatrice Prior who is having to make the biggest decision of her life. Does she stay with her family in the faction of Abnegation, where she will dedicate her life to others or does she choose to leave that life behind and join the faction of Dauntless, who are brave, fearless thrill-seekers? Or does she join the honest, blunt forced faction of Candor? Or the peace-loving faction of Amity? Or the insightful, intelligent faction of Erudite? But in the calm world that Tris once knew, sparks are beginning to fly. The Erudite are blaming Abnegation for problems that are beyond their control and seems that every faction is slowly falling apart and moving away from their past morals and values. Will Tris be able to fight for her family and herself? Will she make the right decision?
One of the things that I loved about this film was the way that it built up the 5 different factions. Every faction was clearly distinctive and different and you could clearly tell who was from which faction just by their behavior and their clothing. This film was a treat to watch too. With all the sloping landscapes and skyline shots, it really created the atmosphere of a dystopian world on the brink of something. I thought that all the music and special effects really added another dimension to the film and I have been guilty of listening to the soundtrack on repeat to get me through homework deadlines. I think that everything that was added into this movie was added with a purpose in mind and I can really appreciate all the work that they put into the world building.
I also loved seeing all the amazing characters being brought to life. I thought that all the performances were incredible, although at times I did question Kate Winslet as the scheming Jeanine Matthews. I thought that Shailene Woodley gave a incredible performance as Tris and really nailed her character. She was a kind yet tough and I loved her sarcastic humour. I loved Zoe Kravitz as Christina and I adored Ben-Lloyd Hughes as the witty Will. And obviously we have to talk about Theo James as Four. He was passionate and mysterious and really cared about Tris and the connection between them both was clearly felt on screen and I loved them both together.
Overall, I really liked this film. I don’t care about the mixed reviews because I think that the production company did a ace job, the cast was incredible and the world was brilliant. It was filled with romance and humour and action and if that’s your kind of thing, then give this a go!