Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Movie vs. The Book: Insurgent

"This is the only chance we have to rescue what little civilization we have left."

On Friday night, I saw Insurgent in the theaters. The film is based upon the second novel in the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. 

All of the main cast members from Divergent (including Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet) reprise their roles in Insurgent. Naomi Watts joined the cast to play Four's mother, Evelyn, and Octavia Spencer to play the Amity leader, Johanna. 

As was seen in the movie's trailer, there are clearly some big differences between the book and the film. Veronica Roth endorsed the changes though, so, as I always say, if the author thinks its fine, then its fine by me too.

At this point, I'd like to discuss some of the most important differences. If you have not yet read Insurgent, I encourage you skip down to the paragraphs at the end. Spoiler alert. 

  1. The biggest change is that hard drive in the book was replaced with a mystery box - a box that can only be opened by a Divergent who can pass all five faction-specific simulations. Most of the movie is devoted to the opening of the box, and although it makes for a good cinematic experience, many scenes from the book are lost because of it. 
  2. When the box is finally opened, the message revealing the truth about the fence comes from a woman, like in the book, but in the movie she never reveals herself as Edith Prior. I feel that leaving this important detail out of the movie was a strange choice, but I suppose there is some reason behind it. 
  3. Jeanine Matthews is killed at the end of the movie by Evelyn, instead of Tori, who does so in the book to avenge her brother's death. 
  4. At the very end of the movie, after the messenger tells the citizens of the city that it is time to venture beyond the fence, a sweeping camera pan shows miles and miles of residents migrating towards the opened gate. At the beginning of Allegiant, only Tris, Four and their friends leave the city, so I'm curious to see where the scriptwriters will take his major change in the next movie. 
The Divergent series is yet another film franchise that is bringing the female action hero into the spotlight. Tris jumps onto moving trains, shoots a gun, and makes sacrifices - actions that in the theater are usual left to male characters. Insurgent even passes the Bechdel test, which asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Insurgent further breaks the action movie mold in that most leaders in the movie are female.

The visual effects are astounding, causing the simulations Tris must complete in order to open the mystery box to be beyond surreal. The romantic relationship between Tris and Four is not too mushy (thank God) and Peter (Miles Teller) offers some much needed comic relief during particularly heavy scenes. Although there were a few too many dramatic slow-motion-running scenes for my liking. I really enjoyed the movie, and I can't wait for Allegiant Part 1 in March 2016.

To read my review of the Divergent novel click here, and to read my review of the Divergent movie, click here. Allegiant, the third book in the series, is here