Sunday, 22 March 2015

Film Review: Insurgent


I have now seen Insurgent twice. The first time was on Thursday (19th March) for a 2D screening, and then I returned to the cinema with a new ticket in hand for the 3D screening yesterday (21st March).

Just to set the scene for you, the Insurgent film picks up a few days later from where the Divergent film ended (in the books, there was no time shift). Tris and Four (and Caleb) are seeking refuge in Amity whilst she finds herself suffering over the deaths of her parents and Will.

There are mixed reviews about Insurgent out there but I definitely think it was a huge step up from the first film. The main thing that stood out for me was set design. In Divergent I felt that the Dauntless compound was kind of pathetic: there was zero life and it didn't stand out whatsoever. In Insurgent, Erudite, Candor and Amity were all so unique and distinct from each other but also stood out.

However, on the subject of set design I want to address one prop in particular. What was that weird "Divergent" scanner thing? Seriously, the concept made zero sense. The Dauntless-Erudite went around scanning people but it registered factions for those who weren't Divergent. Surely it would register a Divergent such as Tris as Dauntless. And why on earth could they work out the "percentage" of a Divergent? In my opinion the concept was completely blurred. If it said Divergents were Divergent then it shouldn't have registered the rest of Amity as Amity since everyone has a choice of faction regardless of what the aptitude test says.

The strongest scene (in my opinion) was the truth serum scene at Candor. Theo James changed emotions just by his eyes and Shailene Woodley finally got a chance to fully show some post traumatic stress. But as all us book readers know, a big part of this scene in the book was the relationship between Tris and Christina being tested. The film barely even touched on this! First of all, Tris has no issue using a gun throughout the entire film, and the only drama surrounding her admitting to killing Will was Christina refusing the look at her for one scene.

I also want to talk about the film forgetting that most of the characters existed. So remember Uriah, Marlene and Lynn having a small love-triangle type thing going on in the book? This wasn't even in the film. I suppose the casting of the first film can be held responsible because if they featured in Divergent they would have already been introduced for Insurgent. But Marlene doesn't even speak in the film until she's under simulation control before plunging off a ledge in factionless to her ultimate death. Lynn is in it a little more but I'm not entirely sure the film actually mentioned her name. Meanwhile, Uriah has only one main scene which is in Candor. Also, most of the faction leaders were visited just once. Even Eric is cast aside quite quickly (I keep forgetting that he was even shot in the film).

Tris, Four, Caleb, Peter, and Jeanine are the main five characters and are actually used. I felt that Miles Teller stole the film as Peter and shone out with his snippets of humour here and there. Theo James was brilliant as Four considering the quality of dialogue he was scripted. Also on the script, Kate Winslet as Jeanine wasn't really given any intelligent lines considering she is Erudite and the antagonist of the plot.

I liked the concept of the box. Some people didn't but for a film I felt that it helped build up tension. The idea behind it is that a Divergent has to pass all five simulations (the sims of each faction) in order to open it. The weird snaky wire things were kind of disturbing as they suspended the Divergent in mid air in order for them to move around in the simulation (as if in a fear landscape). At first we saw a Divergent from Amity trying to open the box until they bled to death which in my opinion portrayed the cruelty of Jeanine really well. And then Tris is used as she is the "100% Divergent" who is the strongest.

Overall, I think book fans will either love or loathe this adaptation. I quite liked it myself but felt that it could have worked a lot better. I don't know how they are planning on splitting Allegiant into two films since they used a few things from the third book in this film and there isn't enough material for two films.

Thank you for reading!
Please leave a comment below giving your thoughts on the film and if you preferred it to the first film.

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