Long-awaited Divergent sequel finally flies into theaters


photo by Madison Hurr

Fans of the Divergent trilogy are excited to see the second installment in action.

By Madison Hurr, Arts Editor

Tris Prior’s world is a post-apocalyptic Chicago where everyone is categorized into five different factions based on their personalities. If you lived alongside her, would one faction define you or are you divergent?

Insurgent, the long-awaited sequel to Veronica Roth’s Divergent, is being released March 20. Insurgent features Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley, The Fault in Our Stars) and her love interest Tobias “Four” Eaton (Theo James, Underworld: Awakening) as they embrace their divergence together and endure a war amongst the factions.

“I’m expecting a more action filled and more emotionally intense movie, one where I can see Tris’s growth and maturity,” senior Antonia Gaviria said. “I felt like I saw that in the books as I read them and seeing it in the movies would be really cool.”

Members of Tris’ society are born into factions and have only one opportunity to switch at the age of 16. The factions include: Abnegation for the selfless, Amity for the peaceful, Candor for the honest, Dauntless for the brave and Erudite for the intellectual. In rare cases like Tris’, no single faction serves as a match and thus the person is deemed “divergent”—a threat to the faction system.

Since Shailene Woodley cut her long locks for her part as Hazel Grace in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Tris sports a short haircut in Insurgent, leaving some students a bit confused. Is that still Tris? CHS’ loyal Divergent fans believe so.

“I completely think Shailene’s short hair fits Tris’ character,” Gaviria said. “It shows her strength and maturity and goes along really well with some other themes in the story.”

Some issues with casting may also be revealed. After The Fault in Our Stars came out last June, Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who plays Tris’ brother Caleb in Insurgent, became well-known for being the perfect, star-crossed couple of John Green’s creation. Will it be weird to see them on screen together again, not as lovers, but as siblings?

“It was really strange seeing them all lovey-dovey in The Fault in Our Stars after watching them act like siblings in Divergent,” junior Ayda Soltanian said. “In The Fault in Our Stars, they had a special bond which is uncomfortable when transformed into a brother-sister kind of bond.”

Some fans take criticism even further to say that casting Woodley as Tris was a mistake.

“While the physical aspect of a character tends not to be an issue, this isn’t the case for Tris,” junior Angela Pu said. “Her short and thin body is a defining aspect of her and her development: becoming stronger both mentally and physically, showing that she is more than what she seems. With Shailene Woodley, she comes out already seeming strong and capable, taking away from the buildup.”

While some students found Woodley as Tris a poor choice, others found the casting to be perfectly fine.

“The actors were able to capture what I felt when reading the books and put it on the big screen in a really believable way,” Gaviria said.

The Divergent movie was a hit, grossing over $288 million in box office sales, as was the book trilogy, which sold over 11 million copies in the U.S. as of March 2014, according to Hollywood Reporter, an entertainment news website.

Despite its popularity, some critics believe the Divergent series has paled in the face of other young adult dystopian novels like Lois Lowry’s The Giver and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy.

Regardless of the disagreements over casting and criticism of being cliché, the Insurgent movie has high expectations to live up to.