Film adaptation of ‘Insurgent’ strays from novel, confuses fans of the trilogy

Published by adviser, Author: Harmony Kasper - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 14, 2015

I saw “Divergent” before ever picking up the book. I knew people that had read the series and raved about how good the books were. Some people even liked them more then “The Hunger Games.” I saw the first movie, really liked it and figured why not read them?

Let’s just say I couldn’t put the book down. Now I am currently on the third book, “Allegiant,” but I’m more invested in the films. After seeing the closeness of the first film and book, I knew I had to compare “Insurgent” to its popular young adult book.

Let’s just say, the two books couldn’t be more different, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Actors from the film have quoted that the changes in the movie were necessary to tell Veronica Roth’s story on screen. “Insurgent” stars Shailene Woodley (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) as Tris Prior and Theo James as Tobias “Four” Eaton. Ansel Elgort (“The Fault in Our Stars”) portrays Tris’ brother, Caleb Prior.

The film also includes the returns of Kate Winslet as Jeanine, the enemy of Tris and Four and Miles Teller as Peter, the annoying Dauntless who gives Tris a tough time. Some new actors to the film include Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts and Daniel Dae Kim.

The film begins where the first left off; Tris, Four and Caleb are on the run for their lives. They hide out in Amity territory until they are discovered and are once again on the run. They end up taking shelter with the Factionless, whose leader is Four’s mother, Evelyn (Watts).

Tris and Four decide they can’t stay, and take off for Candor where the other Dauntless are. At Candor, they agree to be subjected to truth serum to prove their innocence in the simulation attack (happened in “Divergent”) and Tris reveals she killed their friend, Will.

Meanwhile, Jeanine (Winslet) has discovered a mysterious box in the Prior’s home that she believes holds the message to living in a faction society, given by the founders. This box does not exist in the book, but makes for an interesting motive for Jeanine to come face to face with Tris.

After killing multiple Divergent, it’s discovered that Tris is the only one that can open it. Back in Candor, it’s decided that the Dauntless and Factionless will come together to build an army to fight Jeanine and her men.

Tris sneaks out one night and heads to Erudite to turn herself in after Jeanine has programmed Dauntless to commit suicide. Tris is strapped down and the process of her opening the box begins. While there, she finds out that Peter (Teller) and her brother Caleb (Elgort) work for Jeanine.

Four comes to rescue Tris, but is captured. Peter injects Tris with a serum that makes it look like she has died from the simulation of opening the box. All three attempt to escape Erudite, but Tris wants to find out what is in the mysterious box. She straps herself to it again and undergoes the simulation, where she fights “herself” and wins.

The Dauntless/Factionless army comes to the rescue and the message from inside the box is played on every monitor inside the walls. It’s of a woman from outside the wall, explaining that this was all an experiment and Divergent were the key factors in saving civilization. Everyone begins to run for the wall and hopefully see the life they have been missing out on. The final scene is Evelyn shooting Jeanine in the back of the head.

Packed with action, romance and death, “Insurgent” appeals to many ages and both genders. For fans that only saw the movies and did not read the books, you’re going to love it. For fans who did both, you’re going to love it, but will be really confused.

The mysterious box is almost the main plot of the story, but doesn’t exist in the book. Other changes occur, like Tris being 100 percent Divergent (all five Factions) instead of just being three. Johanna and Marcus (Four’s father) are barely in the film and they had larger roles in the book. Four and his mother, Evelyn, get very close at the end of the book, worrying Tris. In the film, Four still doesn’t trust his mother.

No matter the changes, the film is another blockbuster hit amongst young adults and will only fuel the fire for the release of the third film, “Allegiant: Part 1,” which will be released March 18, 2016. The final film, “Allegiant: Part 2,” will be released March 24, 2017.

Splitting the final book into two films is typical now in Hollywood, following the footsteps of “The Twilight Saga,” “The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter” and “The Hobbit.” Some argued that this was unnecessary for some of the book to film adaptations because they don’t contain enough material to be two movies. I haven’t finished “Allegiant” yet, so I can’t make that determination, but I am confident that the popularity of “The Divergent Series” will only continue as the last two films are released.


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