Tris is not "normal"
Four has a nice back
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. I was a huge fan of the first of Veronica Roth's Divergent series the first time I read it, but became less enamored of the world once I read Insurgent and Allegiant. Because of my disappointment in the books, I wasn't super excited about seeing this movie.
Both the book and the movie are set in a dystopian Chicago, long after humanity has made the rest of the world unlivable. The humans are split up into five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite. Each has certain specific characteristic; Abnegations are selfless, Amitys are kind, Candors don't lie, Dauntlesses are fearless and Erudites are smart. When kids in the society reach a certain age, they go through a test that supposedly tells them which faction they'll belong in for the rest of their lives. Typically, kids get one faction. Tris Pryor, on the other hand, comes up as three, which makes her Divergent—and a danger to the security of her society. Tris, who was born into Abegnation, chooses Dauntless, where she meets Four and is thrust into a faction war that no one saw coming.
When I first read about the actors playing the main characters—Shailene Woodley as Tris and Theo James as Four—I wasn't on board. Not because of their acting, which I've honestly not seen much of, but because of the seemingly huge divide between their ages. In the books, Tris and Four are teenagers, and only about two years apart. IRL, Shailene is 22 and Theo is 29. That's not a huge age difference, but Shailene just looks so much younger than Theo, to me at least. The two were surprisingly good in their roles, but the needed chemistry between the two just wasn't there.
The standout of the movie was, to me, the sets. The world Roth built in the books is a neat one, and the movie makers did a good job at bringing it to the screen. The adaptation of the story was a bit loose, too, but I haven't read the first book in a while, so that wasn't that bothersome. Besides, what YA-to-big screen adaptation is ever wholly faithful?
I'd recommend this movie to Divergent fans. If you've not read the books, I'm not sure you'll quite "get" all that's going on. But I could be wrong.
If you've seen it—having read the book first or not—I'd like to know what you think. Let me know in the comments?