Last month I reviewed Veronica Roth’s Divergent. Shortly after I was in a theater filling up on popcorn and Sour Patch Kids, waiting for the movie to start.
Now, normally my method of surviving book-to-movie adaptations involves a three step process. Step one is to have low expectations. Then I repeat that step twice. It’s the best method to avoid the up-in-arms aftermath of many books that hit the big screen. This aftermath includes but is not limited to angry eyebrows, screams of “BUT THEY CHANGED EVERYTHING,” and other means of disappointment.
My normal methods did not apply to Divergent’s on-screen adaptation. It was a concise look at the diverse factions of the novel, with a clear story line and much of the content I enjoyed so much in the book. The characters were well depicted by their chosen actors, with Shailene Woodley playing a convincingly shy-to-badass Tris Prior and heartthrob Theo James upholding Four’s rugged yet sensitive esteem. Their relationship was underplayed, allowing the conflict of the factions to take main stage. The heart of the film was found in the societal connections of the Divergent world, and the movie lent itself to the idea of choice and fear that was so prevalent in the novel.
There was no up-in-arms aftermath, and for that I was pleasantly surprised.