Film vs Novel – Divergent

Sometimes you get to chose who you are – and sometimes you just ARE.

Film vs Novel Divergent by Casey Carlisle

After viewing the film, I decided it was about time to jump on board with just about every one of my friends, and everyone I knew – and dig into the Divergent series. Book to film adaptations have seriously lacked in translation in the past, but I felt this time, Divergent stood up to the test.

The biggest difference I got from the book to the movie was perspective… The novel explained more about the world and Tris’s actions, where in the movie I didn’t quite fully understand everything that happened. There was a distinct sense of humour coming through as well, and I would have loved to see Tris explore that more in the narrative – it could have increased the impact when leading into some of the more dramatic scenes. We  love wicked banter and irony…

While the film was superior with its pacing and kept the story moving forward, the novel tended to jump around a bit in location. Also the screen version left some scenes without explanation: such as the dream sequences – you get a full understanding of them in the novel, but did not translate as well to the screen.

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I remember when I first viewed the film in the cinema, I was like… what tha? Are they going to explain all that? *mentally shaking my fist at the screen*

Film vs Novel Divergent by Casey Carlisle pic 01The real hero of the movie is Four – the film adaptation let’s a lot of his character seep through, and he seems so much more accessible on screen (and drool-worthy), where we only get Tris’ perspective and assumptions with the book. I can’t say the same about Tris – the film failed to do her justice. Maybe because too much exposition was left out. Shailene Woodly does a superb job in the role, but because much of Divergent is cerebral (in Tris’ thoughts), I found myself wanting more from our heroine. That, and I wanted then to kick her up a notch of bad-ass-ness… only because I love rampant, temperamental, kung-fu chicks. That said, I’m sure we’ll get to see more of that in the following movies.

Additionally, where many of the main ensemble were somewhat stereotyped in the novel (with some exceptions) the film allowed us to view them in a more subjective and well-rounded perspective, which I felt lent more colour and depth – particularly with the antagonists. If I could mash the better elements of both film and novel into one ‘thing’ my brain would have melted from its awesomeness.

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You get a real sense of carnage and (graphic) death with the novel, where the film, bending to the rules of viewing classification sanitised these scenes (or brushed over them entirely). Where was the gag-worthy insanity we glimpsed in the novel… I want them too please!

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If I had to choose which was the better experience – I’d have to go with the novel, simply because it made more sense. Yes, I loved the special effects and cinemaphotography of the film, but it’s story-telling lacked in comparison… So the book for the win.

Let’s see how Insurgent stacks up.

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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