Friday, March 28, 2014

Divergent the Movie: Why I Loved It

This past weekend, the movie adaptation of Veronica Roth's book, Divergent, hit theaters worldwide. I'll admit, going into the theater, I was met with mild trepidation. The book, though not my all time favorite, is incredibly good. And this book just falls in line with multiple other YA books that have gone to the big screen. Unfortunately, not many of them have been successful in their book to movie journeys. 

However, that cannot be said about Divergent.

Because let me tell was AMAZING. I absolutely loved it. LOVED IT. So much so that I went and saw it the following afternoon.

That's not to say that this is an incredible movie. I mean, it isn't going to win any prestigious cinematic awards or anything. But it entertained. That's also not to say that everyone who likes action movies will like this movie. But, as a YA book reader and writer, I was very happy with the result.

Now let me tell you why it was a success.

Reasons why Divergent is a good movie:

1. Casting. Part of the reason Twilight sucks (pun intended) is because of the casting. There is nothing good about K.Stew and R.Patz in those films. Whereas for The Hunger Games, the casting crew wised up and picked Jennifer Lawrence. Smart choice. And whoever chose the Divergent cast made a lot of smart choices as well. Namely, Theo James, as the gruff but loveable Four. Yep, he was hot. On top of that, believable. On top of that, not pasty.

2. The script. Okay, so it was a bit cheesy but in a good way. It made sense. There were several laugh aloud lines. It was overall moving. And there was enough dialogue. It irks me when a movie ends and it turns out the main character has six lines.

3. The translation from book to movie. There is a fine line between adhering to everything the book says and straying too far off course. Often, it seems people forget to make a logical movie in an effort to be the book. They didn't do that. All the main parts were included, but they took license to flesh out some parts to allow the movie itself to make sense. Clutch.

4. Scenery. Maybe it is because I live in Chicago, but I loved the city landscape. Chicago is a beautiful city. Even in the future after a war has reeked havoc on society.

5. The romance. Divergent is not specifically a romance. There are a lot of more prevalent themes than that, but every YA needs a bit of a love story to keep the reader intrigued. In a book, there is more room to flesh out that storyline and create chemistry. However, I felt like the movie did an admirable job. I believed them. I could see why they fell for each other. And their chemistry was great!


6. It kicked me in the gut with a sudden realization. I realized that I am wasting time! Every day that I don't sit down and write is another day that I let my future slip through my fingertips. Disclosure, I'm not so confident in my writing skills that I blame laziness on my lack of success. However, with laziness in the picture I might never know if I could have been successful!

So here is why the Divergent movie was a kick in the gut. Veronica Roth was 22 when she wrote Divergent. Today, she is the author of 3 bestselling YA novels and has her first novel up on the big screen. The girl is only 25! She is set for life. I remember the day I first heard about Divergent. And I wrote this post, My Life as a YA Writer. In the post, I talked about how Veronica Roth, at the time a no name, was my motivation. She had done it. She had written a book that was getting published. At the time, she was just like me.

Now look at us. She has two more books published and a movie starring Kate Winslet. And I'm still a nanny whose only fame is in the form of a pint sized hedgehog.

Not to sound all down on myself. It is my own fault. And it is a good, happy life. It is just maybe there could be more for me. In that blog post I wrote this, "One day I will have a finished novel. Who knows what will become of it, but for now, it just needs to be written."

So thank you Veronica Roth for motivating me back then and motivating me now.

I think I'm seriously ready to make good on that statement.

Wish me luck. 

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