Conform For The Sake of Survival: in Divergent
In the future ruins of Chicago, civilisation have divided themselves into five factions in order to make sure the peace remains. Abnegation for the self-less, Amity for the peaceful, Candor for the truthful, Erudite for the intelligent and Dauntless for the brave. But those who can’t be placed into a faction, those who can’t be conformed, must die. These are the Divergents.
I think we can all say that we like a future, dystopian film. When we hear about these films we usually think of zombie apocalypses or global warming reaping destruction across the world. But “The Hunger Games” showed us the world after the apocalypse, the scraps of humanity that had stitched together some form of civilisation. And “Divergent” follows the same concept…I will add that this is the only similar aspect between the two films. After a war that ravaged America, they devised a system which involved splitting everyone into factions, so that they could live their lives with a group of people who shared their ideals; therefore lowering the risks of conflict.
If I’m honest I have always had the belief that humanity was on the path to near wiping itself out, and one day the few left will have a fragile civilisation remaining…plus I reckon the faction idea would actually work quite well. The new after-apocalypse genre is growing very popular lately. To go off on a tangent, if you like this genre then try the “Wool” trilogy which concluded last year with “Dust”.
The film follows an Abnegation girl, called Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) who is preparing to be tested for which faction she belongs to, and soon after the Choosing Ceremony where she can either ignore her test results or choose another faction. But her test results turn out to be inconclusive, making her a Divergent, but her tester lies for her knowing what would happen to her if the truth came out. Later at the Choosing Ceremony, Beatrice doesn’t choose Abnegation, but the Dauntless faction which she has admired all of her life. The decision is not made lightly, since once your faction is chosen they are your family. Meaning that you leave your birth family behind.
In Dauntless Beatrice shortens her name to Tris, she is forced to remove all fear, and discovers that any sign of weakness results in punishment. She meets new friends who were raised in different factions, but the most noticeable of all is dark and mysterious, heart throb Four (Theo James). Four soon takes notice of Tris, and secrets of his own soon surface.
Yet, the future Chicago is not as perfect and peaceful as it seems. Despite every citizen having complete loyalty for their faction and its role it plays in society, not everyone is happy with the factions’ roles. Abnegation control the government, since it is believed that the self-less should rule. Yet, the most intelligent of the factions believe otherwise, many in Erudite believe that their faction should have control of the government. The head of Erudite, Jeanine (Kate Winslet), has taken an interest in Tris, as to whether she means her harm or has other plans for her is yet to be seen.
This is a film that we can all relate to. Growing up with a set of beliefs and deciding later on if we will be brave enough to follow our own. And not only a decision to follow the beliefs of others, but to make our own beliefs. For all of you who loved “The Hunger Games” you are bound to love “Divergent”, personally I think “The Hunger Games” is better but I did really enjoy this film.
“Divergent” is the first of a trilogy of films. In 2015 we can expect “Insurgent” and later in 2016 “Allegiant”. Or if you can’t wait till then, read the trilogy of books by Veronica Roth.
Words by Luke Dighton