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Divergent - Film Review

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by Hayley Maree (subscribe)
I am a student, living in Melbourne, trying to find inspiration for my novel. I love the theatre, travelling and immersing myself in English history.
Published April 9th 2014
Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Ashley Judd, Maggie Q, Kate Winslet and Mekhi Phifer
Run Time: 140 minutes
Rated: M

Happy endings are a thing of the past. Nowadays, movies and television alike enjoy offering slap-in-the-face turning points and refuse to coddle their audiences. This usually means killing off important characters and subjecting fans to nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat suspense. Such is the widely acclaimed premise for the new dystopian sci-fi-drama, Divergent.

Based on the NY Times bestseller by 25-year-old author Veronica Roth, Divergent is a story about survival. And, following on from the hype of The Hunger Games, it has attracted a lot of recent attention.

Set years in our future, in the wake of a massive war, a city is broken up into five separate factions: Candor, Erudite, Amity, Abnegation, and Dauntless, each one dedicated to a unique set of principles. Children are raised in one of these factions, but at the age of sixteen, they complete an aptitude test which reveals the faction they are most suited to. From there, they are able to select one to permanently call home.

Shailene Woodley and Maggie Q as Tris Prior and Tori Wu

Beatrice "Tris" Prior (Shailene Woodley, The Fault in Our Stars) is an Abnegation-born girl, struggling to embrace her faction's ideals. She longs to conform, but feels out of place amongst her selfless community. On the day of her test, Tris ends up specialising in more than one faction. We learn this type of person is called Divergent.

When Tris controversially chooses Dauntless over Abnegation, she is propelled into a world of daring, risk-taking and fearlessness. The Dauntless wear only black, cover their bodies with tattoos and piercings and find release in thrill-seeking activities, such as zip-lining from massive heights or jumping out of moving trains.

In order for Tris to complete her initiate training, she must conquer her innermost fears and hide her true identity from the council members hellbent on destroying her kind. With the help of her attractive but cold instructor Four (Theo James, Underworld Awakening), Tris sets out on a path to discover the secrets of her new family and their violent plans for the other factions.

Four and Tris prepare for Dauntless training

Topping the US box office after its release in March, Divergent is the exciting first instalment in Roth's three-book series. Though aimed at teenagers, the film has qualities that will engage all ages. It is backed by a killer support cast and promises plenty of action, humour and suspense.

Divergent opens nationally in theatres on April 10th. Photos appear courtesy of Summit Entertainment.
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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
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