I read the book Divergent some time ago, and I remember the premise, but that’s kind of it (sorry, Veronica Roth). I remember liking it, but maybe it was just one dystopia too many at that point, because it all went in one ear and out the other (or in one eye and out the other, I guess?) for the most part. So when I fired up the movie this week, all I really remembered about it was that, in the world of the story, there are a handful of factions in society. Abnegation, the selfless people; Dauntless, the brave people; Erudite, the smart people; Amity, the peace lovers; and Candor, the truth tellers. In this world the soldiers are in Dauntless, the farmers are in Amity, the intellectuals are in Erudite, and on like that. Stories like this are immediately interesting because they appeal to the personality quiz-takers in us all. What faction would you be in? It’s a fun thing to think about (I, by the way, according to the deep scientific methodology of Buzzfeed, am an Amity, which deeply disappoints me). The thing is though, I get really sidetracked by things like this because I start obsessing about all of the professions that aren’t shown and I wonder where they are. Like, plumbers, for example. What faction is a plumber? How about a ballet dancer? And what if you are a particularly truth-spewing intellectual? Or if you’re a selfless smarty? It’s made into this huge deal if you don’t fit into one clear category (“divergent”) but really, would that be so rare? Are we supposed to believe that people are that one-dimensional?
So you see, I find this whole thing super distracting.
Here are some more thoughts on the movie, in list form, because I am feeling lazy.
1. If you put James Franco in a blender and added one cup of a young Antonio Sabato Jr. and then pour it into a tall glass, Theo James, the male lead, would come out. I mean, go look at him and tell me I am wrong. Once I had this thought, I could not think of almost anything else.
2. I don’t feel like the movie gave us any reason to understand why Tris (Shailene Woodley) wanted to be in Dauntless so damn bad. Maybe it is my own bias but those Dauntless folks seemed like straight up assholes. Like every mean 80s high school movie villain would have been in Dauntless. Like, Kreese from Karate Kid? TOTAL DAUNTLESS. So, ick, Tris.
3. I found myself thinking about what faction I would want to be in via which one had the best clothes. (Extra sad that Buzzfeed gave me Amity, because hello, yellow gunny sacks). The winner there was Erudite (Kate Winslet, sexy blue pencil skirt, sign me up, brainy-licious).
4. I wanted Tris to be more kick ass and the boyfriend to be less “I’ll Save You!” but you know. I get it. I’m just saying, Katniss wouldn’t be having that shit.
5. President Fitz and Ashley Judd, foxy parents wut wut!
I did have fun watching it overall. I loved seeing what apocalypse Chicago looked like (the city, I mean. Not the band. End Times Peter Cetera did not make an appearance this time around. Maybe in the sequel, fingers crossed).