As a fan of the Divergent books for a few years now, I must admit that the recent adaptation of Insurgent, the second novel of the series, has forced me to fall into a bottomless pit filled with complete sadness and utter despair. With it’s completely different story-line than the novel and its almost humorous and feeble attempt at trying to offer some sitting on the edge of your seats moments, The Divergent Series: Insurgent fails to please fans of the books but nonetheless creates a somewhat decent movie for movie lovers at the same time.
Do you know that feeling when you’re watching a book-to-movie adaption and you hear a line that came straight from the book and you just have this smug, satisfying look on your face? That never happened with Insurgent.
What I just don’t understand is why directors feel the need to change the plot of novels when it has been proven that when you stick to the story-line, the movie does outstandingly well? I mean, there’s a reason why the novel became a bestseller; it’s because the story was GOOD. Some examples of exceptional adaptations include The Fault In Our Stars, the Harry Potter films, The Maze Runner, and the Hunger Games films (excluding the first). On the other side of the spectrum, some films that did not stick with the story-line and failed miserably include the Percy Jackson films, the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Vampire Academy, just to name a few.
Some notable changes from the book to the movie include this “box” that Jeanine (played by Kate Winslet) has and it contains an important message from the founders of the society and of course, only the supreme Divergent can open it. In addition, there was a lot of action when there wasn’t supposed to (although I do understand that as much as I hate to admit it, as that is a way to attract more people). Also, Tris always calls Tobias “Four”, which seems like a very petty thing but it bothers me quite a lot. Furthermore, Tris can hold a gun right away even though throughout the whole novel she is unable to due to the fact that she had murdered one of her closest friends, not to mention it was her best friend’s boyfriend. Additionally, in the novel, Tris and Tobias were constantly fighting, but in the film it’s almost like they’re on their honeymoon. Also, Marcus Eaton, Tobias’ father, had only one line in the film while in the novel he was a major part of the plot. In addition, a lot of epic scenes that I was looking forward to were cut out of the film which just made me dig even further into my pit of despair. And finally, a lot of the major themes of the book were cut out, such as betrayal and rebellion. I could go on, but by the time I listed them all, we would all be dead.
Although I hate this movie with all of my heart and sincerely hope that they never adapt the third book, Allegiant, because I know that this will happen all over again, the actors, such as Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet, were phenomenal in this film. But the people who really stood out were Miles Teller, who plays Peter, and Ansel Elgort, who plays Caleb. These two acted the part just how I imagined it and they were really the only ones who kept me from getting up and leaving the theatre.
All in all, if you have read the book and you are curious to see what they have done with the film, go ahead and watch it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. On the other hand, if all you’re looking for is an action film filled with twists and a fierce heroine as the lead, then by all means watch it because if you don’t compare it to the book, The Divergent Series: Insurgent is a pretty decent film. In the meantime, I will return to my bottomless pit of despair and continue to feel betrayed about what they (A.K.A. Robert Schwentke and Veronica Roth) have done to me by releasing this film.