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Film version of ‘Divergent’ a delight for book lovers

By ELI BECHT
Staff Writer

There has been a wave of young adult books being turned into movies lately. “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Twilight” are just a few that come to mind. “Divergent“ is another recent one. A lot of the times, movies don’t do the book justice. Most people probably would say that the book usually is better than the movie. I’m going to tell you why “Divergent” is different.

divergent dark“Divergent” is the first book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. The story follows a young girl who has to determine which of the five factions to spend her life in after turning 16. In the series, characters are separated into factions based on human virtues. The protagonist, Tris, is played by Shailene Woodley in the film. I believe she does a great job of portraying Tris. In the book, she was a strong character who took the bumps in the road in stride. I believe writers did a great job at showing that in the film.

Many of the scenes borrow straight from the book. For better or worse, the film did not try to venture out and be anything other than a carbon copy of the book. Fans of the book may not see that as a problem. The film doesn’t take many chances, however, sticking primarily to the script. That may bore some moviegoers, but it makes the film exciting for someone who loved the book.

There is one area where it differs somewhat from the book. Kate Winslet is cast in an unfamiliar role as a villain and her character has more prominence in the film. She does not appear as often in the book, but appears a lot in film as audiences are introduced to the trilogy’s antagonist.

While I still believe that the book is better than the film, the film does a good job of following the story told in the novel. Book loyalists will be pleased, but if you haven’t read the book first, you may be let down by the film.

“Divergent” opened in theaters March 21 to mixed reviews. Many called it “No Harry Potter.” Nonetheless, there are two sequels in the works, with the next one, “Insurgent,” currently set for release in early 2015.

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