IT'S HERE, people! Divergent, the movie, is HERE! Technically the premiere date was today but of course there were several showings last night, one of which I went to. Duh. Before I get into the movie, can I just talk about how disappointed I was with the lack of people attending the movie?
With the last few movie releases I've been to, the movies are no longer released at midnight, but there are several showings the Thursday before starting at around 8:00 p.m. continuing with at least four more performances up to and including midnight. I don't know if this is the case where you all are, but I don't know how I feel about it. At first I thought it was great cause I hated getting home at 3:00 a.m. after a midnight premiere to have to go to work the next morning. But to be totally honest... it was kind of lame this time.
I don't know if it's because Divergent is not "big" enough, which seems unlikely because I mean, it's Divergent. Even if society could care less about the release, there is still all of us, the blogging/reading community that tends to become obsessed and fangirl and all that. So I wonder if it is due to the lack of midnight showings. I think midnight showings gave more of a sense of urgency - you want to be one of the first to see it so you must be there that day.Well, whatever the case was, I was pretty disappointed. I got there more than an hour early and they were already seating - no lines, no wait. Again, doesn't seem like something to complain about, but half the fun of a midnight premiere is having to wait outside the theater doors for an hour squishing up against people you don't know and stampeding into the theater trying to get a seat that is not those ones in the first two rows where you break your neck. Sigh... I think you get what I'm trying to say.But anyway, besides the fact that the premiere atmosphere itself was pretty lame, I really, really enjoyed the movie. That's not to say it didn't have its issues, but overall I really enjoyed it.
WHAT I LIKED:
First and foremost, I honestly enjoyed seeing the story come to life. I think that is something that I love about (almost) every book-to-movie adaptation, though. I thought seeing each faction in "real life" was insanely cool. Getting inside the Dauntless compound past the point of in my head was awesome. See Four up close and personal (yum!) was great.
I particularly enjoyed the way the romance was done in the movie. I've read Divergent twice and while I liked Tris and Four because they obviously belonged together, I never felt as though the chemistry between them in book one warranted an "I love you" at the end of it. I never really felt it the way I wanted to. But in the movie, all the chemistry was there. Theo James is delicious for starters, so not only is he easy on the eyes, but he works well with Shailene Woodley in my opinion. But I really enjoyed the way they progressed, learning to respect each other, trust each other then, finally, love each other. It was a hundred times more believable on screen than it was on the page and I was swooning all over the place.
While I didn't love all of the things Hollywood chose to add in (see below), I really did like the action aspect of the movie, especially toward the end. I thought it was wonderfully done and it was so intense, I had a death grip on Sean's hand the entire time. So I was able to (mostly) forgive the unnecessary additions because it made the movie pretty damn exciting.
Let me just talk about the actors/actresses for a minute, because a lot of my love for the movie came from the feelings they caused in me while they were playing these characters:
Theo James/Four: Not only is he sexy beyond belief, he comes off a little more mature in the movie rather than just mean and brooding, which only made him sexier. He seemed more like a man than a boy. I think he did a fantastic job portraying Four and bringing to life the chemistry and love between him and Tris.
Ben Lloyd-Hughes/Will: I just loved Ben playing Will! Though I wish he'd played a bigger part in the movie such as he did in the book, I was happy with the casting and I really enjoyed him.... and then... yeah. That was rough. :'(
Jai Courtney/Eric: OMG. Oh. My. Goodness. I am in love with Eric. I never thought I would say those
|Look at that face. And those lips. Sweet|
Baby Jesus... I'm in love.
Shailene Woodley/Tris: I am going to be completely honest - I thought I was going to hate Woodley as Tris. At first, I thought she was too... rough, not skinny and "birdlike" enough (that sounded rude, didn't it?).. I just didn't think she was going to portray the Tris I wanted and had been seeing in my head all this time. I was so pleasantly surprised when I started seeing her evolve from Abnegation Beatrice to Dauntless Tris and I really loved her. Not to mention she showed off her acting chops in a major way toward the end of the movie in a couple of insanely emotional scenes. I was a blubbering mess and Woodley really showed the emotions Tris was feeling that sometimes get lost in translation when imagining it in our own heads. I thought she was fantastic even if she isn't exactly the perfect embodiment of Tris in the books.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
Really, the only thing I actually did not like in this movie were the things they added in with Jeanine and Tris. I felt like they changed their dynamic entirely and tried to make it seem as if Jeanine wasn't out to get Tris and that she was even being friendly toward her, if not entirely truthful. They actually threw Jeanine into the story (in regard to Tris) a whole lot earlier than in the book. I guess I can see why they did that, so as not to throw Jeanine in as a threat at the last minute (especially for people watching who haven't read the books), but I didn't like the way they tried to portray the relationship between Jeanine and Tris.
There was one character that I hated: Zoe Kravitz/Christina: I was actually really excited to see her play Christina. I am a huge Lenny Kravitz fan and yes, I know, her father's talent doesn't necessarily translate to her, but Christina was one of my favorite characters in the book and I was really counting on Kravitz to play the role well. I thought she was pretty lame for starters. Her acting wasn't horrible but it certainly wasn't anything to write home about. Not to mention that she looked like she was high the entire time. That, or deathly ill. WTF is that about? It was awful and it made it seem like she didn't care about being there or being Christina. Needless to say, I was disappointed by her.
To touch on a topic some non-blogging friends of mine brought up (and one fellow blogger, Nikki, who said the same thing on Twitter), it seems like the movie was put together in a way that could be confusing for people who have never read the books. Even with the movie being almost 2 1/2 hours long, it seemed to move really fast and didn't exactly expand on things that may have needed to be explained a little better. I, myself, didn't necessarily notice this until after the fact because I read it very recently and remembered most details, and I still think I need to see it again to form a solid opinion on this aspect. But I can totally understand this and see how it may have been confusing to some people who haven't read it, or even people who read it quite a while ago and don't remember all of the details.
BUT, ALL IN ALL
I am one of the few who seem to have really enjoyed this movie. I thought it was action packed, kept pretty well to the original story line, had really awesome acting, and was so cool to see come to life in general. I don't want to get up on my soap box here in debate with people who absolutely did not like it, but I really just want to know why? If those who disliked it actually didn't like it as a movie, I completely respect that. My problem is with the comments about disliking it because of the things they changed. I just feel like.... where have you been? This is the nature of book-to-movie adaptations. They change things, take things out, add things in. When I go see adaptations, though I compare to the book, I really just try to watch the movie and see everything coming to life. There are some exceptions, like if they change major things and even endings or something (Beautiful Creatures, cough cough). I just hate when people hate on an adaptation because things are different. They call it awful, when as a movie, it really wasn't. I just want to know, why are you even bothering to see it if you know that they are going to leave out about half of the book and probably a lot of things you really liked?
Maybe I'm being harsh, but I don't mean to be, I promise. I just think that fans need to go into these things with this in mind: things will be changed. There's usually a reason (not always, so don't stone me, please, but usually).
Well anyways, regardless, I really enjoyed this movie and I'd really love to hear from you, whether you agree with me or not, because I feel like I'm missing something when everyone says how horrible it was. But if you liked/loved it, I would really love to gush together so please, tell me what you liked - or didn't like.
If you haven't seen it, do you think you will? And is your decision based on preconceived notions about adaptations or because of the reviews that are surfacing now that it has been released? Let's talk books... er.. movies!