December 1, 2023

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: Divergent (2014)

Just like the “Because You Watched…” lane that pops up on your favorite streaming service, Now Playing Podcast wants to help you find the perfect companion flicks. Each week, contributor Chris Bravo brings you fresh recommends that tie in with one of our reviews.

I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to recommend this movie. I didn’t even want to watch this movie. I heard the jokes. I know its reputation. And yet, here I am, my hand forced, telling you that, yeah, I watched Divergent. And it wasn’t that bad. In fact, if you enjoyed that initial The Maze Runner film, I think you’ll enjoy Divergent, too.

A lot of the criticisms are founded, sure. The acting is stiff all around, including the leads. The dialogue will make you wince from its cringiness and shallowness.

But it’s the world-building that makes this movie for me. In The Maze Runner, we were thrown into a mysterious glade in the middle of a monolithic maze, and we had to piece together the riddles of this world. In Divergent, the world is explained to us upfront. We’re in a highly stratified, organized world, where people are organized into classes based on their personalities. But how did such a world come about? Who gets to lead such a supposedly egalitarian world? And of course, what happens to those who disagree with this structure?

We see the main characters discover the answers to these questions over the course of the film. And while the flaws are apparent, there is an intriguing world to explore at its heart. By the film’s end, I wanted to see what happened next. Add in some impressive visuals, a thumping soundtrack, and some solid supporting performances (especially from Kate Winslet in an unfamiliar role), and this should satisfy fans of the dystopian YA film genre.

Leave a Reply