Yesterday we had book club where we saw the movie Divergent and then discussed the book and also compared it to the movie.
I actually really enjoyed the movie!
When I was reading the book, I imagined Tris to be more like a young Luna Lovegood–frail, very blonde, and extremely short. So I did not imagine a moderately tall, athletic brunette (although her hair was lightened). However, I thought that Shailene Woodley actually did a great job, and I did really like her in the end. However, I do think having someone so tiny play Christina (and someone so relatively tall play Tris) negated some of the fact as to why Tris was having difficulty in the initiation. As for the rest of the characters, I thought they all fit my perception of them. And when Four took his shirt off in the movie to show Tris his tattoos, all the tweens sitting behind us were cheering. (It was quite entertaining.)
Peter was not as menacing in the movie, which I do think was a bit of a poor choice. The scene with Edward was completely omitted, which isn’t a really big deal, however, that was really the point in the book where you knew that Peter was a psycho. In the movie, he was just a tough competitor who was a little mean. Perhaps this will be further developed in later movies.
There were a variety of small changes in the movie–some for the better, some for the worse, some to just keep the length under control. A lot of characters were omitted, including Edward, Uriah, etc. (We really only met Peter, Christina, Al, and Will.) The paintballs during the game of capture the flag were changed to bullet simulators that gave you the pain of being shot but only lasted a few minutes (which I actually thought made it better–more of a training and less of a game). The meeting day was changed to where Tris “accidentally” bumped into her mother when they were picking up supplies. Her mother didn’t tell her to go talk to Caleb about the serum, so that whole point was somewhat changed and made it feel a little more random that Caleb showed up later to help fight the Erudite.
The main thing that was different about the movie however was that Jeanine took a much more significant role. On top of being at the choosing ceremony, she was the main point of the ending. I’m not totally sure how I felt about the ending. In some ways I liked it a lot better than that book because the book felt so anti-climatic. On the other hand, it seemed a bit contrived because why would they just leave a disabled Jeanine lying there (either kill her or take her).
All in all though, I thought the movie was quite well done. I am looking forward to reading the last book which I got yesterday and then seeing the other movies when they come out.