Review: ‘Divergent’ (M)***

THIS futurist drama originates from the pen (keyboard?) of Veronica Roth, who has two more “young adult” novels (“Insurgent” and “Allegiant”) in the pipeline for cinema release in 2015 and 2016.

image9Following a cataclysmic war a century hence, behind a high fence around Chicago the law-givers have established a system for young adults to decide which of five ethical/intellectual disciplines they will follow for the rest of their lives – Erudite, Candor, Dauntless, Abnegation and Amity.

Tris (Shailene Woodley) chooses Dauntless, which seems a tad improbable for a well-bred young woman who might have chosen a less challenging career path than law enforcement in a society gravely damaged by war.

Neil Burger’s film follows Tris undergoing arduous physical and psychological training and investigation at boot camp in the unit led by the mysterious Four (Theo James). Smarter and more resilient than most of her colleagues, she slowly comes to an awareness that the system isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. She is in fact a divergent, one of a rare group of social types considered to be dangerous.

Cinema staff tell me that “Divergent” has found favour more among young adults than older-age cohorts. I reached a similar conclusion before its turgid 139 minutes had finished.

At all cinemas


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