I’d never heard of the movie Divergent till last week. But after an outbreak of posts about men claiming to be Four and women looking for Four on my Facebook, I wondered what the big deal was.
So I asked around and heard that it’s another young adult book series about a dismal future society with strange rules and customs that inhibit freedom and individuality. The likeable protagonists must battle against the controlling schemes of the establishment.
Okay, not the most original of plots.
But I went to see it anyway yesterday with some friends. Here are some of my thoughts:
(Minor spoilers… But they’re pretty obvious early on.)
- I found it more watchable than either of the Hunger Games movies. While the Hunger Games may have more depth, this was more fun. And really, if I wanted deep, I wouldn’t be watching a movie adaptation of a young adult novel. So fun wins.
- It’s more fun because Shailene Woodley’s Tris is more fun than Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss. Katniss broods, scowls, frowns, and fights everyone. Tris at least smiles occasionally. I’m not hating on Jennifer Lawrence, okay? I liked her in… I dunno where I liked her, but she’s funny in her interviews.
- I also liked the love story of Divergent better. None of the messy love triangles of Hunger Games and major props to Tris for making a stand on taking the relationship slowly.
- Related to this: the most cringe-worthy moment was when her deepest, darkest fear scenario involved her time with Four and it was broadcasted for the whole faction to see. Awk-ward.
- The faction system in Divergent is very simplistic. Here’s a short guide to help you get it: Amity = Hippies, Dauntless = Jocks with ADHD, Erudite = Nerds, Candor = People Running for Student Council, Abegnation = The quiet majority. It’s like the author was inspired by observing a high school cafeteria.
- The movie highlights the tension of wanting to belong to a group, while wanting to be true to who you are. People often feel that these objectives are mutually exclusive. To stay true to myself is to reject the company of others. Or to stay in relationship with others is to deny fundamental parts of myself. But that is not the case.
So if you’re a young person wrestling with this decision, I hope you will reject any mindset that makes you choose between the two.
- Reject any relationship that forces you to change who you are to belong. No boyfriend, girlfriend, barkada, club, or fraternity is worth losing yourself.
- Reject the lie that you will find yourself apart from other people in your life – especially friends and family. Loving relationships are like mirrors that show us who we are.
The path to self-discovery cannot be separated from loving relationships around you. And truly healthy relationships will celebrate you for who you are.
As a Christian, I’m thankful for a God who desires not control, but a relationship. When I am most aware of His love for me, I find that I become the best version of myself.
For a similar blog on another recent movie, check out my Thoughts from Frozen.