There are so many books being turned into Movies or TV Series at the moment. This feature chats about the good bits, the bad bits and is never afraid to ask the ultimate question: Page or Screen?
Insurgent (second book in the Divergent series) was published January 1st 2012. As of January 2014 it was reported that 10 million copies of the Divergent Series have been sold worldwide.
The film, of the same name, was first released on March 20th 2015 and made a massive $52.3 million in it’s first weekend in the US box office.
You can check out my review of Insurgent here
Insurgent on Goodreads
Insurgent on IMDB
Warning: the following post does contain some small spoilers for both the book and the film.
I find it really strange how much I can love Ansel Elgort as Gus in TFIOS, but when he becomes Caleb Prior… wow do I hate him! I guess that’s the sign of a good actor. He’s one of those characers that you don’t know how you are meant to feel about because some of the stuff he does and the decisions he makes are wrong, but then Tris loves him, so we feel like we should.
I have to mention Tris‘ haircut here, not many people can pull of the pixie cut, but Shailene Woodley totally rocked it. She also did a good job at portraying Tris’ PTSD, butit felt like the writers didn’t make enough of it in the script and so Tris wasn’t quite at the point that I had hoped she would be at in this film.
Theo James seems to have acquired an even deeper voice in this film, which although makes him sound extremely sexy, I have to admit there were times when his voice was so deep that I couldn’t actually understand what he was saying! But Four seemed to get even more depth in this film as his past comes back to haunt him and Theo pulled this off PERFECTLY for me. (Not enough toplessness though!)
Miles Teller continues an incredible portrayl of Peter and I’m so glad he took the character in the direction he did. I was so unsure in the beginning of the first film about Peter being more humourous then he is in the books, but I really feel that it has brought this whole new side to Peter and we are able to both hate him but guilty pleasure like him at the same time.
We FINALLY get Uriah in this film, wheay! But even though he’s there he is still only a minor character whose name gets mentioned only once. I’m a little worried how this is going to affect the way the audience responds to him in some of his more important scenes in the next film, because at this point no one knows him enough to really care.
One new character who I wasn’t sure about was Evelyn, played by Naomi Watts. I didn’t have a clear picture in my mind of her, but when she appeared on screen, I don’t know, she just seemed far too young for the character she was meant to be playing.
THE WORLD & FACTIONS
I really liked the Dystopian city of Chicago that had been created for Divergent, and the thing I love about this film is that we get to see so much more of it!!! In Divergent we see Abnegation, Dauntless and a little bit of Erudite but in Insurgent we get to see Amity and Candor as well as the Factionless headquarters too.
Amity – It was just as I imagined it, with the Amity tree and the whole feel of the place. It feels very hippy-ish and I was half expecting to see people playing kumbayah and smoking weed in the background! They seem to have gained a little slogan: “Go with Happiness” which they like to say to everyone, and which Peter has great pleasure in mocking.
Candor – Another one that was exactly how I imagined it. For a faction that is all about honesty and are themed on black and white the Candor building fits perfectly with its professional office feel. The scenes with the truth serum were really well done and, when it came to Tris’ turn, totally heartbreaking.
The Factionless – I was really excited about seeing the factionless in this film. They make their entrance during a kick ass fight with Tris, Four and Caleb on a moving train which has to be one of my favourite action sequences of the entire film. Their headquarters are half weapons base, half squatters den and it really fits what the factionless are all about.
There were a few little niggley things that annoyed me though. In the books the factionless don’t have much food and have this really interesting way of sharing by having one spoon of something from a tin and then passing it on to the next person, makes for interesting reading. However in the film there is a scene with Evelyn, Tris, Four and Caleb all sat round a table eating a nice looking meal.
This film has been described as being loosely based on the book, and I think it is VERY important for book lovers to know this going in. As a lover of the books but also an open minded film nut I was able to appreciate the film both as an adaptation but also as a stand alone, away from the book that it is based on. That said, there were still things that bugged me:
The whole box thing – This has got to be the biggest change in the adaptation, and I’m not really very sure why it was necessary. This mystical box that Jeanine thinks is going to be the answer to all her divergent problems but suprise, suprise she needs a divergent to open it! I have to admit, I was curious about the box thing after seeing the trailer, and even though I knew what was going to be in it I was still interested to see how it was all going to unfold. That said I don’t understand why they couldn’t have stuck to the original storyline?
Tris’ PTSD – It was in there, and Shailene did a really good job at portraying it, but I felt like the writers should have put more of it in there. In the book Tris is verging on suicidal, with no thought for her own life it’s Four’s interventions that manage to keep her alive through alot of moments that she otherwise would not have survived. I don’t feel like the writers went deep enough with it and I would have loved to have seen that side of Tris and the effect it had on her and Four’s relationship.
What about the death serum? – One of my more favourite parts of Insurgent (the book) is the time that Tris spends in the Erudite headquarters after she gives herself up and is followed not long after by Four. These chapters in the book were some of the most intense and I don’t feel like Tris’ simulation scenes in the film quite lived up to those tense and heart racing scenes in the book.
So they just changed the ending? – I don’t mind changes, I understand that they have to happen. But when the affect the way the next film is going to start I get a bit worried. I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but it seemed a bit too happy compared to the book ending. I’m curious as to how the Allegiant film is going to star and where our characters are going to be.
I must admit, I haven’t listened to many of the songs on the soundtrack outside of watching the movie, but I absolutely love Holes in the Sky by M83 and HAIM. I feel like it captures the tone of the film perfectly, as do the rest of the songs that were featured in the film. You know it’s a good soundtrack when it adds to the film but without totally distracting you from the action on screen.
Insurgent Sountrack on Spotify
SO, THE BOOK OR THE FILM?
If I was judging this as a film not adapted from a book then I would give it top marks. But as a lover of the series it’s just a little bit too different for me and some of the changes I just didn’t see necessary. Also I don’t like it when I come out of a film worried about how it is going to affect the next film in the series. I would definitely recommend it, but make sure you go in to it knowing what you are walking into: a loosely based adaptation. This one has gotta be the book!
What did you think of the movie? Did you like the changes?
Was it better or worst then the book?