Divergent is now the number one movie in America! The adaptation of Veronica Roth’s dystopian novel was not a shoe-in success – Hollywood was waiting on it’s toes to see if it would succeed, after many box office flops in the YA realm. Divergent delivered an extremely solid $56 million opening weekend, and Insurgent has now been green-lit. Critics were somewhat wishy-washy in their reviews, many giving it less than stellar marks due to it’s similarities to The Hunger Games. We think that is pretty unfair though, since we should be marking it on it’s merit alone, individually. However, we only really care about what the fans thought of the film. So, we got the most die-hard initiates out there, who run fansites, to send in their reactions. Read what they had to say, below.
Paulina of I Am Divergent:
For me, I was pretty overwhelmed when I first saw the film. It was so much to take in at once that I couldn’t really completely process it in the first round. It wasn’t until the second time I watched the movie that I could finally form a coherent reaction. I absolutely loved Divergent! Of course it wasn’t perfect (what movie really is?) but I didn’t really mind the changes that happened. I was really really pleasantly surprised with all the details of the film and Theo James as Four was perfection! Also, the names of some fansite owners were featured on the scoreboard with the Dauntless initiates, and it really made us feel like we were part of Divergent. I was really excited and pleasantly surprised with the end result, and can’t wait to see the future of the series on the big screen!
April of Tris and Four:
While I do own a Divergent fansite, that didn’t mean that I automatically loved the movie before seeing it! The movie still needed to prove itself to me… and it did. It really did! While no YA adaptation is ever 100% perfect, Divergent really wowed me as a huge fan of the book. Shailene Woodley and Theo James absolutely personify Tris and Four, and give us a performance that shines! I know Veronica Roth is secretly fangirling, because her wildest dreams have come true. Divergent had me holding my breath and enjoying Tris’ wild ride through dystopian Chicago as she figured out what being Divergent means. It was epic!
I didn’t really know what to expect when I went in to see the film. Honestly, while the trailers were good, they weren’t grabbing me by the lapels and yelling: “I MUST BE SEEN NOW OR I WILL EAT A RABBIT,” like a lot of other really good movie trailers do. Also, from what I had seen in the trailers, I wasn’t so sure about Theo James and his acting abilities. His acting seemed forced to me and I was worried. Well, MOVIE TRAILERS CAN BE MISLEADING! I was BLOWN AWAY. I wasn’t expecting it to be so good! I was pleased with the entire cast, especially Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet–they rocked! As for Theo James, all my doubts were wiped away. HE DID GREAT! I really felt like he WAS Four. I’m not saying this as a fangirl who has a crush on him, but as another guy who’s come to respect this actor. Theo James is legit. He probably eats knives for breakfast, which means that he poops knives at lunch–which makes him a real man (which makes him Four). All in all, the movie is a great experience! They captured the message and themes of the book, and that’s due to the great work done by everyone involved in this production. One of the best adaptions I’ve seen in a while!
Celestine of Divergent Society:
Seeing the film, I believe Summit nailed Divergent. It even intensified my positive vibes of the movie because my friend commented it was a good movie, though she never read the book. I really liked Shailene Woodley and Theo James. However, I was expecting more when Tris had her faction test, it wasn’t so clear for me. It should have been longer and more detailed because its the moment Tris will decide. I would also would have liked a simulation room that looks more technologically advanced than the in the movie, because there should be modernism in a dystopian environment. There were lagging moments during the first parts, but in the later part of the story they eliminated all boring scenes. What I think is the most memorable moment was when Woodley (Tris) and Judd (Natalie) had their back-to-back fight scenes against Dauntless’ under simulations. It’s the most touching part for me, especially when Woodley had to control her emotions after her mother died because she still needs to save her father and other Abnegation. I believe the movie gave justice to the book’s beautiful story. It had its ups and down but it’s still a franchise worth continuing.
Kylie of Divergent Society:
Finally seeing Divergent felt almost unreal. From the moment that the music began and the word “DIVERGENT” formed on the screen I was stuck in a state of awe. I’m not really sure I even blinked through the whole film. I absolutely loved it. I laughed, cried, and internally squealed when Four began to undress himself. Where there things I miss terribly from the book? Yes. But that’s unfortunately something that is to be expected. The things removed weren’t damaging to the plot and the additions and changes were brilliant. I’ve seen Divergent Four times now, and I can’t wait to make it five!
Alison of Divergent Fans:
Like most people who read the book I had a vision of what I thought the movie would be. The first time seeing the movie I struggled with the differences between my vision and Neil Burger’s finished product. As soon as I got home I began looking for all of my old Twilight “Team Edward” swag to support butter-knife Edward and started planning my protest. Then I saw it a second time, and a third. By the third time I was in tears and fully engulfed into what Divergent has become. The actors along with the production team brought an amazing world to life. The movie will stand alone and likely encourage those that have not done so yet to read the books. The plan is to see it over and over again! It is that good.
Ashley of Shelf to Screen:
I think Divergent was a very strong book-to-film adaptation! Of course there were changes that needed to be made but in my opinion, it never felt that these changes took away from the overall story, One of my favorite scenes was the scene where Tris is running through the streets of Chicago with the Dauntless just moments after the choosing ceremony. She’s still reeling from this huge decision she just made and I think the sensation of running freely through the streets was very liberating in that moment. It was a nice, lighter moment before the real Dauntless work began and Woodkid’s “Run Boy Run” in the background was the perfect compliment. And of course no Divergent reaction would be complete without mentioning Theo James as Four. There were moments where I really didn’t feel like Theo had to “act” much at all…I just truly believed him to be Four. After seeing the film twice so far, I’m very happy with the film that Neil Burger and the entire cast worked hard to make and it’s something I think that fans can be proud of.
Divergent was great. Let me start off by saying that the Divergent cast is everything I thought they’d be and more. I knew they’d be great but they were just incredible. My favorite scene had to be after the Choosing Ceremony. When I saw Tris and the other Dauntless Initiates running to catch the train something inside me leapt. I can’t say enough good things about Shailene Woodley in this movie. There is a scene in the movie (trust me you’ll know what scene I’m talking about when you see the movie) where Shai has to do a certain emotion and man did she nail it. Seeing Veronica Roth also made me extremely happy. As soon as I saw her I had to clap and cheer, because that’s our girl! Loved the movie. Please go out and see this film, you will not be disappointed.
Meg of Divergent Lexicon:
The first time I saw Divergent I was a nervous wreck. I tried to remind myself to keep the book and movie separate, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to help the comparisons that would come. And they did. Of course they did. I’m one of those people that read the books so many times I lost count. I know that it was more than 24 less than 50. It was necessary to create the DivLex, but it also made me a walking Lexicon. The changes stood out to me with flashing lights during my first viewing. But what also stood out to me was how awesome the cast was (I mean, is Theo James ‘Four’, or is he ‘Four’?), how much heart Neil Burger put into the story, and how amazing it was to see Veronica’s book come to life. I’ve seen it two more times since that first viewing and it just keeps getting better and better. I can see why things were changed, I can see that things were cut for a purpose, and more importantly, I can let all of that go and just enjoy every second. We are incredibly lucky to have an amazing group of movie makers and actors involved in Divergent and I can’t wait to see what happens with Insurgent. Now, who wants to go watch it with me again?
Divergent is absolutely the best book to movie adaptation I have seen in a while and I would definitely recommend it to all the Divergent fans out there! I was very nervous but also very excited to see the film. I was very anxious at times even though I knew everything that was going to happen. I was really happy with the casting. I’m not gonna lie, when Shailene Woodley was first cast, I was a bit worried, but as soon as the movie began I felt confident that she would do a great job. Shailene embodied Tris very well; she did not disappoint! As I read the books, it was hard to imagine Four, but I absolutely loved Theo James as Four! He is a very masculine man, but he also has a vulnerable side, which I think were very important characteristics to have. The rest of the cast did a FANTASTIC job portraying their characters as well! Though many of my favorite scenes were missing, I feel like they did a good job catching all the main points and information from the book. The film stuck to the story, however my friends and family members who had not read the book were not able to follow along easily. If you are planning to see Divergent and have not read the book, I would definitely plan on reading it. Not only is it a very well-written book, but it will help you understand the movie easier! As a reader, it was amazing to see all the scenes come to life on screen. Overall, I was very impressed!
Farah of National Book Club of Lebanon (Beiruit):
At first we all went in our faction colors and were all so excited about seeing the movie. Taking pictures with cardboard Tris and Four became a hobby and finally the gate opened and we all started squealing. Through the movie it was all about saying the lines of the actors with them (“They call it divergent”) and screaming names to the screen. Finally at the end we were all so moved (some of us in tears of joy) we clapped and were “fangirling” like never before. The movie was super satisfying! The little changes weren’t considered compared to the amazing job they did on the movie. For us the Casting was superb and we can’t wait till Insurgent!