Divergent shows cool premise, but flawed structure [Review]

Divergent shows cool premise, but flawed structure [Review]

Based on Veronica Roth's book of the same name, Divergent is set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago where people are divided into five factions, forced to live under the shadow of a highly rigid, repressive social system. Every teen has to go through a test to be placed into a specific faction. There are the smart Erudite, kind-hearted Abnegation, honest Candor, peace-loving Amity, and Dauntless, home of the adrenaline-junkies.

Our heroine, Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley), however, belongs to none of the above, making her a Divergent. Fearing that people of her kind would cripple the system, the society tracks them down.

It's an intriguing premise, and director Neil Burger tackles a wide range of serious topics, from self-identity to corruption. But his ambitious scope is trumped by lazy stereotypes - characters are either generically good or cliched evil.

With an overlong training sequence in the second act, the story feels disproportional - a long body with a fleeting ending. Perhaps The Hunger Games has set the bar too high.

 

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Cool premise, flawed structure

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