‘Divergent’ explores identity confusion

“Divergent” is the first in a three-part series of films by Neil Burger. It was one of the more popular movie choices for college students during spring break.

The movie blends the fantasy of a time in which part of the world is isolated because of a past war with the reality of a teenage girl facing an identity struggle.

The girl, Beatrice ‘Tris’ Prior, must take a test to figure out her aptitude for one of five factions. Which faction she chooses will determine what job she will have for the rest of her life.

Trish was born into the abnegation faction. Each faction has a different role members must fill in society, the point of this government system being there would be no conflict and, thus, no war. It is an interesting concept that, while not quite anarchist, might make people used to a democratic system like America’s uneasy.

The people in “Divergent” can still choose their career, but are strongly encouraged to go by the test results. The test involves a pre-determined situation that the taker has to navigate through
in his dream, while the test giver watches. The movie involves this situation throughout. The way the person completes the scenario in the test determines his attitude.

Tris must make a decision that will impact her for the rest of the film. I thought the complexity of having to make such a choice was a strong point in the film. In our own lives, we make a choice to either stay with our family’s beliefs and values or form an independent attitude. We make a career choice and have to live with it the rest of our lives.

I recommend watching “Divergent.” It had a lot more deeper-rooted meaning than what appeared on the surface. It had some cheesy parts and some predictable, but it makes you want to see the next two movies in the series and has a fairly unique plot for a sci-fi/drama film. While it might not help people make big decisions in real life, it encourages them to choose what they want to do and not simply what their environment or parents think they should do.

Divergent is rated PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality. It is currently playing at Cinemark Towne Centre in Conway.

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