If you enjoy watching young adult adventure dramas like the Harry Potter series, the Twilight saga, or the Hunger Games series, the Divergent films should be next on your list. Consisting of three films, this franchise is based on the dystopian science fiction trilogy by Veronica Roth. Three novels – Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant – were to be made into four films, with Allegiant split into a two-part film adaptation. The story is not yet over and by the looks of it, any more adaptations of the book stand cancelled. The three movies, however, are now available to stream on Netflix, so here’s what you need to know before you binge-watch this series.
What’s Divergent About:
The series is set in a dystopian Chicago society, where the world as we know it has been destroyed. The survivors of the apocalypse have built a new society, where people are divided into distinct factions based their virtues. At the center of it all are the Erudite (the intelligent) who are responsible for innovation and development. Then there’s Candor (the honest) who handle the governance, Amity (the kind) who are responsible for agriculture and farming, Dauntless (the brave) who protect the city, and Abnegation (the selfless) who complete the society. There are also a few outcastes, known as the ‘Factionless’, who do not have a proper place in this new society but are cared for by the Abnegation. Interestingly, the factions are not decided by birth, but every individual has the right to choose their own faction at the age of 16, after which they devote the rest of their lives with their respective factions.
In this new world, we meet our protagonist, a young girl called Beatrice “Tris” Prior. Tris, who has spent all her life with her parents at Abnegation, and must now choose her own faction, along with her brother Caleb. For her psychological aptitude test (which is conducted to help individuals determine the faction that suits them best), she is revealed to be “Divergent” – showing equal attributes of multiple factions. Tris must now make a choice to either continue living with her parents at Abnegation or go to Dauntless, where she really wishes to go.
The cast of the film series is led by Shailene Woodley, previously known for her performance as Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars. Woodley plays Tris Prior, while her co-star Ansel Elgort is cast as her brother Caleb in this series. Tris’ love interest Tobias “Four” Eaton is portrayed by Theo James, while Zoë Kravitz and Miles Teller play Tris’ best friend Christina and her arch-enemy Peter respectively. Other important characters in the film include Ashley Judd as Tris’ mother Natalie Prior, Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews who is the leader of the Erudite, Octavia Spencer as Johanna Reyes who is the leader of the Amity, Maggie Q as Tris’ proctor Tori, and Naomi Watts as Four’s mother Evelyn Johnson-Eaton.
In the first film, we see Tris head to Dauntless while her brother Caleb chooses Erudite. At her new home, Tris faces many challenges as she must step up her game to become the protector of the city. She is trained by Four, whom she later goes on to date. Christina becomes her best friend while Peter becomes her arch-enemy. Tris also learns more about being Divergent and how it comes to pose dangers to herself and those around her.
In the aftermath of the war in the first movie, Tris and Four are on the run while Jeanine Matthews tries to hunt them down. Along the way, they form their own army of the Factionless, who then take on Erudite’s powerful leader. As they find allies and answers, Tris learns some surprising truths about her and Four’s past, which will enable her to shape the future of the new world.
After their fight with Jeanine, Tris, Four and their allies must escape their city, and look for answers beyond the wall. Outside, they learn the real nature of the faction system that renders their old discoveries meaningless and reveals some shocking truths about the new world. Now Tris must decide whom to trust as she is ready to head back for a final fight and solve the dilemmas on courage, honesty, kindness, intelligence, and allegiance.
The third and final book in the trilogy was to be divided into two films – The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1 and 2. While the first film released back in 2016, the second was later cancelled and slated to be made into a television film. More characters were to be added to this adaptation with the possibility of a spin-off series. While the production remained in limbo, Starz finally announced that any further adaptations remained cancelled.
The first three movies of the Divergent series are now available to stream on Netflix. So get your subscriptions to go on an adventure with Tris and her friends to the dystopian society of Chicago, where you get to pick your own future. For more movie recommendations, click on the link below.