There’s no denying that America has a thing for doomsday/post-apocalyptic movies. Divergent is the latest of these.

The movie is based on the bestselling novel of the same name, authored by Veronica Roth, and is all about the underdog who rises up to become the heroic saviour. While this storyline has been done more times than we can count, the movie is still worth seeing as it does have a number of standout moments.

Main characters

  • Shailene Woodley as Beatrice “Tris” Prior
  • Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton
  • Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews
  • Zoë Kravitz as Christina

The story

One hundred years after a devastating apocalyptic war has changed the world and humans’ way of life, citizens of the city of Chicago live in harmony. They have been separated into five different factions according to their strengths and skills, which are used to serve their fellow citizens to the best of their abilities, and to create and maintain a long-lasting peace.

Dauntless are the brave protectors (or police) of the city, Abnegation serves as the city’s government, Amity farms the land and provides food for the rest, Candor strives for truth as the city’s most honest lawmakers and keepers, and Erudite is full of intelligent scientists and professionals.

Each citizen already belongs to one faction, but when children reach a certain age, they must go through a test that will determine which faction they are best-suited to. While the test tells them which faction to go to, it’s ultimately up to the individual to decide what to do. Do they stay with their native faction, go where the test tells them, or choose their own path? However, a select few don’t belong anywhere, with traits that make them suitable for any of the factions. They’re completely fearless and difficult to control, and are thus seen as a threat by the Erudite leadership. These people are called Divergents.

The story begins as Beatrice Prior, a.k.a Tris, undergoes her coming-of-age test to determine her future. Tris discovers she is Divergent and is told that unless she keeps this a secret, she will be killed. Divergents don’t belong in any specific faction, which leaves Tris with no choice but to choose one and try to blend in, so she goes with Dauntless, a faction she has always admired for its fearlessness.

Tris makes friends with a group of fellow initiates (her closest being Christina) and one particular young man from the Dauntless leadership named Four (yes, the number Four), who will all be instrumental in helping her expose and take on the Erudite (with Jeanine Matthews at the helm). There is, of course, a secret Erudite plot that must be stopped that threatens the lives of one particular faction and most of all, Divergents in an over-arching quest for control.

At first, Tris feels like she is where she belongs at Dauntless and although she goes through a tough time at the initiation, it prepares her to be a strong, leading force in the upcoming battle against Erudite leaders.

Our verdict

The storyline could’ve taken a different direction than the “save the world, discover your true self and fall in love” plot. That kind of story worked for The Matrix because it hadn’t quite been explored yet and the movie marked a new era of Sci-Fi action movies.

Even so, Divergent is a fun movie, and definitely worth a watch. If combines elements of The Matrix, I am Legend, The Hunger Games and yes, even Twilight. Even if you’re not a Sci-Fi action or post-apocalyptic movie fan, it’s still worth a go. The bravery displayed by the main characters is quite inspiring, and the story may even leave you thinking about facing your own fears and being brave in the midst of challenges.

A solid two thumbs up for the special effects and action  stunts.

Rating: 3.5/5

Divergent is currently showing at most Ster Kinekor and Nu Metro cinema. Visit the Ster Kinekor and Nu Metro sites to check which cinemas it’s showing at, and to book tickets.

Watch the Divergent trailer below:

[Image: Divergent Movie]