Divergent (2014)

A post apocalyptic Chicago is divided into factions, based on human virtues. They are ‘Abnegation : selfless’, ‘Dauntless : brave’, ‘Erudite : Intelligent’, ‘Amity : peaceful’ and ‘Candor: honest’. While it would be impossible to divide a complex human race on such grounds, it has been done to control them and maintain peace.

Of course, everyone doesn’t fit neatly into the above. This is the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s first novel in her trilogy and makes an interesting watch especially for someone who hasn’t read the book. The beginning has an aftertaste of Harry Potter and its sorting ceremony, but quickly becomes far more riveting than a sorting hat putting you in a particular house.

It seems like a simple world, but disintegrates into similar patterns of power and politics, where one’s innate virtues are first used for them and later against them. The story is told via Beatrice’s (Shailene Woodley) journey, which is inspiring as well as predictable. She is supported by Four (Theo James), Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn and many others, who are restrained by a system which is utopian to say the least.

Kate Winslet makes a special powerful appearance, bringing a quality on screen which only she can. Director Neil Burger, who has made The Illusionist and Limitless, seems very much at home with the subject, weaving a believable world for us to experience.

Watch out for Insurgent and Allegiant which are already in pre-production.

3/5

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