The wait is over. Insurgent (2015), the much anticipated sequel to Divergent (2014), has finally been released in theaters. Interestingly enough, the film is carried by the young superstars, Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Theo James. It is refreshing to see actors and actresses of their age, who are not just celebrities, but also very talented artists. All of them have very promising futures and it is exciting to witness the beginnings of their careers. Complementing them are the ‘adults’ of the film, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, and Naomi Watts. In other words, the talent pool is tremendous.
They all bring a very human element to their characters, which helps to ground the audience in the midst of the action. Moreover, all of these actors look like real people. Too often in Hollywood films, there are scenes where reality is suspended to ensure the attractiveness of the actor. For example, can you recall a scene where a character wakes up, having presumably slept all night, with full makeup and perfect hair? That would never happen in real life! By letting go of the need to be ‘beautiful,’ the actors ultimately embraced the relatability in their characters and made the dismal situations they are in more believable.
The film adaptation definitely differs from the book, but is able to still capture the main narrative points. Unfortunately, there is so much that needs to happen, the audience does lose a little bit of character development. For instance, Caleb’s betrayal in the movie does not hit quite as hard as it does in the book. It seems as though that was a choice made by the writer and director to not dwell on that point. Again, this decision probably had to do with time constraints. Also, the special effects are a little overdone here. What makes a dystopian film so unnerving is the thought that it could reasonably happen given the right conditions. When the world looks too fake, it loses some of its power.
Overall, it is a decent film. However, if you have yet to see it, wait until it comes out on DVD.