|Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) in a scene|
from Divergent (pic from movie website).
Anyone who knows me knows how hard I am on movie adaptations, especially if I liked/loved the book. Many times the film simply cannot surpass the novel. I would say Divergent is a 9 out of 10--it was that good.
Much of the reasoning behind my love for the movie stems from Shailene Woodley's brave performance. She brought a quiet intensity to her portrayal of the innocent Tris and viewers get to witness her transformation from meek to tough and take-charge. There was a gradual progression of her character development from showing her being uncomfortable around some of the Dauntless to her embracing their high-fives and compliments after an accomplishment. You can see the Tris from the page truly come to life with this talented actress. And I have to mention Theo James. I first scoffed at his casting, not connecting his Downton Abbey type performance with the rugged Four. I was wrong. He imbued everything dynamic associated with his Dauntless teacher's character.
In an earlier post I called out what I thought was the overuse of snark to sell some of the YA movies made today (with Vampire Academy). Today, I'm applauding Hollywood's correct way of selling YA--by remaining faithful to the original material and providing fans with a worthwhile, moving script. It was great to see and hear the exuberant reaction of the YA crowd in the theater last night when previews for The Fault in Our Stars and The Giver were shown. I guess it's safe to say 2014 seems to be the year of YA books taking up residence in local theaters. Why not? I'd rather see books made into movies than sit through version 10 of some franchise which lost its appeal with the second movie.
Divergent is thrilling, intense and involving. Well worth checking out.