This film was released in 2014 after the success of The Hunger Games
I recently told you that one of the keys to The Hunger Games was restructuring the stories for teenagers and putting dystopian worlds at the center. Due to his success, many more works followed and one of them was Different. It premiered in 2014 as an adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novel and also proposes a futuristic and decadent setting. At first, this first part seemed to start a long saga, but that wasn’t the case. Next we’ll talk about all of this, but especially about this first part, which we can now watch via Netflix.
What happened to the Divergent saga?
Divergent was the first installment of what was originally four films, but ended up being three for reasons I’ll now explain. We met Beatrice Prior, Tris, who lives with her family in the core of the factions. In dystopian Chicago, society is divided into different groups based on the person’s nature, as determined through brain tests. So one can be of boldness if one is very fearless, of selflessness if one is altruistic, of learned for the most intelligent, of truth if one is sincere, or of cordiality for those who are more socially and politically correct.
Tris grew up in an Abnegation family, but chooses Join Dauntless after his exam. The problem? The test didn’t reveal which faction it belongs to, but called it “divergent,” meaning it’s a little bit of everything. It is such a rigid society that divergence is seen as a threat and must therefore be kept hidden to prevent the government itself from deciding to put an end to it. But when he meets, everything changes Four and discovers that there is a conspiracy in the city that is much more dangerous than he could have imagined.
Within science fiction, we’re talking about a much more fantasy-oriented type of teenager. We’re not facing the complexity of Interstellar or anything like that, no. However, with this in mind, Divergent joined The Hunger Games or Maze Runner in offering a work that is easy to understand, but still mature enough to appeal to a more adult audience. This can be seen in the characters themselves, played by Shailene Woodley and Theo James, not only because they act well, but also because they create a much more mature relationship than in other types of Twilight stories.
On the other hand, and despite the fact that the violence has been greatly reduced compared to the novel, we are talking about a film with quite aggressive and complicated situations, far from what a Disney youth film could mean, for example. The truth is that “Divergent” had all the necessary elements to take over the baton left by its predecessor: a good cast with actors like Kate Winslet, impressive images, a different premise, romance, suspense, action… So, what has happened? to Divergent?
Too many twists
We can say that the problems arose with the premiere of “Insurgente”. This produced better results than the first part, but the story began turn around too much. Although it delved deeper into the universe of the saga, it had become an action film that moved away from the mystery and magic that the first had. With all of this came changes in history. Many, myself included, didn’t like seeing Leal distance himself from the original story in a very scandalous way. The reason? Very easy. Remember when all the endings were split into two films? We saw it in Harry Potter, in Twilight, in The Hunger Games and now it was Divergent’s turn. The problem is that this story didn’t go much further and skipped over one of the novels’ most shocking moments.
But that’s not the end of it, because the failure of the third part led to this ending being transformed into TV series, which Shailene herself flatly refused to attend. This series never came either. That is, the followers (those remaining) of the saga did not see a closed outcome. In any case, one would have to resort to novels and the result would be completely different.
With all of this, I would like to emphasize that the first part is a quite entertaining film that can also be seen as a standalone film. Hence now that it is available to watch on Netflix and other platforms Streamingis not a bad alternative for Sunday afternoons when we don’t know what to watch. It’s a shame what has become of this saga, even though it served as a springboard for many of its actors such as Miles Teller or Ansel Elgort. We even got to see Zoë Kravitz in one of her first roles before she played Catwoman in The Batman.