Divergent is the latest New York Times Best Selling book franchise turn film adaption. Divergent's setting is based in a somewhat post-apocalyptic Chicago which is completely fenced off from the world outside. Within the walls lays a city divided, literally since each individual is forced in a faction based on their obvious personality traits. The key to this whole franchise and hence the title of this film is being Divergent. As typical with these stories our heroine, Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) just so happens to be Divergent, meaning she will never fit into any one group. Now, as you can imagine in a world where freedom and thoughts are controlled, an individual who defies the public system can be a genuine threat.
Divergent had all the makings to be a genuine film success but the question is if it will be in the eye of the beholder. Shailene Woodley is plays an incredibly believable heroine and is a true powerhouse in her role; her love interest on the other hand, wasn't as convincing. Four (Theo James) is a mysterious lone wolf type of character which you knew was going to be our heroine's love interest from the get go, but who's performance lacked depth as an individual. On the other hand, the villain inside of Kate Winslet was the true star of the film, hiding sincere ruthlessness behind an intellectual shell. In light of the tremendous performances from the supporting cast one may ask why Divergent has not lived up to its predicted success.
Simply stated, Divergent's shortcomings stem from its storyline. Though there success as a book franchise proves the story sells, as a film the subliminal plot lines feel quite familiar. A film based on a teenage heroine fighting against a dictator in a world divided, all while finding herself as an individual, will always have a market but will never stand alone. At least not when compared to its genre's predecessor "Hunger Games". That in my opinion, is the only place Divergent fails, because when compared to a near flawless and similar franchise it was either going to blow it out the water or fall under the shadow of past success.
My advice, don't expect another "Hunger Games" because it won't compete but rather go in blind, lend yourself to the entertainment and it will take your attention and imagination for an engaging ride.