It’s Sarah here, friend of the lovely blogger. You might remember me from the ‘Sarah Dates’ Sarah-
Elizabeth and I go on now and then, and from the Lumatere Chronicles book review she was kind
enough to ask me for, a while back. Well I’m here again and this time Sarah has asked me for a film
review on Insurgent which we went to see a while back. Before I say anything else, let me just say,
the Divergent Series films are must see, as are the books. For this series I decided to try a little test,
and instead of devouring all the books in one sitting, and then sitting through the movies going
“Mmm, they changed that”, and “This wasn’t how it went in the book…” I thought I would
experiment and read each book…after watching the movie. Thus I get to see a kick-ass film with no
prior expectations and then go on to read the better book. (Let’s face it; in most cases the book is
better than the movie, though not always).
For those of you who haven’t watched the films, read the books, or wolfed both down compulsively,
let me tell you a little about the world Insurgent is set in. The film is set in a near-future, dystopian
world where one society lives, divided into five factions. Candor, Amity, Erudite, Abnegation and
Dauntless. But Tris doesn’t fit into any one faction. She is divergent. That makes her dangerous.
Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off; she, the oh-so-hunky Four, her brother Caleb, the
backstabbing Peter, and one or two other characters, are on the run after the assault on Abnegation
from the Dauntless soldiers as a part of a coordinated attack by Jeanine, head of Erudite, for power.
Following? Good. In the rubble of Abnegation Jeanine finds a box that promises a message from the
city’s founders, and what she believes is a weapon against Divergents. But only a divergent can open
the box, and so the hunt begins…
Spoiler alert: This film was fantastic. I mean seriously fantastic. Sarah-Elizabeth and I, having already devoured
our huge box of popcorn during the opening credits, were thirsty for plotline and theatrics, and we
certainly got them. The CGI used for Tris’ bouts under the sim-serum were beautifully created. The
shattered world on fire was a step up from the previous film and much more intense. What really
got me though was Tris’ emotional progression. In the first film she lost her parents, her old faction
and her new. The only thing she’s sure of is her love for Four and her brother, and her need to kill
Jeanine. She sees this as the only solution. But her guilt is the real beauty. Having had her parents
die to protect her, and having had to kill her friend Will in the last film, her facing up to that guilt in
Insurgent, was by far my favourite emotional scene. It was gut-wrenching. Pretty sure I may have
shed a tear or two. But Christina’s forgiving her was worse. Especially when we all know that Tris
wouldn’t have been able to return the favor, had their situations been reversed.
But Caleb’s betrayal, now that surprised me. Peter’s betrayal I saw coming. It’s in his nature. But
Caleb running back to Jeanine I didn’t see coming. I probably should have, probably some of you did.
But I didn’t. I really like the plotlines of Peter and Caleb, and how they mirror each other. Peter
betraying them, you saw coming. But just like Caleb’s betrayal I didn’t see Peter coming back to their
side and helping bust Tris and Four out of Erudite. In fact, this film was full of surprises. Four’s mum
being alive, Tris and Four’s love-scene (finally!) and Tris going back to finish opening the founder’s
box, was great. And best of all: the message from the founders telling that divergents were their aim
and that they can come out and play in the real world now. Yes, there are apparently people out
there. Good people? Bad people? Who knows! I suppose we’ll have to wait and find out! But Jeanine
won’t be finding out as she got killed by Evelyn in the last scenes of the film. I admit it’s going to be
strange without her as the head villain, she made such a great villain too. But I foresee problems
with Evelyn so we’ll probably (definitely) have enough conflict in the next film. But poor Four! Can
we say ‘parent problems’?!
Obviously there were some differences from the book. But considering the film had to be condensed
down from a five-hundred and twenty-five page book into two hours, I think they did well. The
cinematics were excellent, the cast was fabulous as always. The book is better, grittier and has far
more emotional impact. The characters are rawer, more real, and more flawed. Certainly Christina and
Peter were the two I noticed with the most different from the books. In the films you’re never
entirely sure why they’re so hard on him, whereas in the books you think they might almost be too
kind. As well in the film Christina is a cut-and-dry, there to be the perfect best friend to Tris, and
doesn’t have much of her own story going on. Other than her grief over Will, which is quickly
glanced over. However, judging the film by the film, it was excellent. My only problem is that I have
to wait until next year to see Allegiant: Part 1!
Until next time,