Saturday, March 29, 2014

Movies: Divergent

(Drivebycuriosity) - What do college girls dream of? The movie "Divergent" could give you an impression (imdb). The film is based on the first novel by Veronica Roth, who wrote the book on a winter break from college. The author, an engaged Christian, dreamed an alternative world, which looks like today`s Chicago, but is much poorer, without cars; and lake and river are drained, thanks to a devastating war in the past and climate change. This is called post-apocalyptic and dystopian science fiction, but many scenes and ideas reminded my of the TV series "Rome", which was set 2000 years in the past.

The protagonist is a fledging girl who chooses to join a militarist group with fascistic tendencies (when the leader tells you to jump, you jump blindly) which reminds a bit of a 1930s German youth organization called "Hitler Jugend". This leads to a lot of action (no spoilers here, you could find a synopsis here wikipedia). The film is about being an outsider, coming of age, developing a relationship with the other sex, social conflicts, political manipulation and more. But the philosophical, sociological and political ideas stand in the shadow of the action.

I enjoyed the images of a digitally rendered Chicago and some of the action scenes are really breath taking. Director Neil Burger, cinematographer Alwin H. K├╝chler and the whole team delivered fascinating pictures and blended scenes which classical Greek & Roman aspects with somewhat futuristic impressions.

I was enthralled by Maggi Q, even that she was just a supporting actor. Shailene Woodley, who has the leading part, did a passable job, but she is no match for Jennifer Lawrence, the top star of the competing "Hunger Games". I enjoyed seeing Kate Winslet as an ambitious politician and Jai Courtney, as a kind of fascist instructor, had also an impressing appearance. 

"Divergent" is a passable entertaining young adults movies, but the film lacks the humor and the goofiness of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and his 139 minutes running time are way too long.

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