Divergent – Entertaining film, Ridiculous premise

Okay so I saw this film yesterday, my brother thought it might be entertaining, and it was. It was a fun film.

However, I have serious issues with the premise. Firstly, Divergent blatantly courts its target audience by being a (rather extreme) tale about a teenager that doesn’t fit in. It feels as if the author took a lesson in teenage angst and then decided to write a book about it. What teenager doesn’t think they’re special? What teenager doesn’t think they ‘break the mould’? What bothers me about that is that it reeks of profit motive in writing the book and validates an aspect of teenagerdom which I always found annoying (And I’m still a teenager)

Secondly, I just don’t buy the whole ‘Divergent’ concept. Listening to the film, and the wiki, it sounds as if Tris is the only person in the entire world who could be both clever and brave…WTF? The faction test presumably assigns people based on what trait they display the most. So, for instance, I might test as 55% Erudite and 45% Amity, and thus be assigned to Erudite. Whereas if I tested as 50% Erudite and 50% Amity…I’d be Divergent? Why would 5% of a personality trait make that much difference? I may be mis-understanding the test here, but if it is as the film implies, they I just don’t think its realistic.

Being Divergent also seems to have neurological ramifications, if the fact that Tris couldn’t be controlled by the mind-control drug is anything to go on. THAT MAKES NO SENSE! The affects of drugs are determined by how they interact with neurons and the chemical composition of the brain…not whether somebody is both smart and nice…

Finally, if you’re allowed to chose outside of your test results..then why does being Divergent even matter? Why is it any worse for somebody who tested as Erudite, Abnegation and Dauntless to chose Dauntless than somebody who tested as just Amity to chose Dauntless. Either way they haven’t neatly abided by test results.

The whole dream thing also doesn’t make sense. Your response to a threat is determined by past experiences and knowledge just as much as personality traits. Each Dauntless would undoubtedly respond to an threat slightly differently anyway, and I’m sure a Dauntless and a Erudite might even respond the same way to a particular situation, given similar past experiences. And why is it that only Divergents would even think of it being a dream? From the sounds of things, people in the fear-dreams are fully capable of rational thought (unlike me when I’m dreaming). They also repeat dreams multiple times. Why on Earth would only Divergents realise they’re dreaming?

There’s more that’s wrong with the universe, but I’ve ranted enough to make my point. It’s as if the author was so desperate to make a point about Individualism, that they threw realism and common-sense out the window.

 

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