Uncollected Thoughts on the DIVERGENT Movie

Kit Steinkellner

Staff Writer

Kit Steinkellner is a playwright, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher. She also writes about books and reading  at Books Are My Boyfriends. Follow her onTwitter: @BooksAreMyBFs

I have SO MANY THOUGHTS. They’re mostly about Shailene Woodley’s ponytail, but they’re also about the casting, book-to-film-adaptation, production design, I have some thoughts about Kate Winslet’s hair too. Let’s get going.

-Why does this movie have a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes? I LIKED it. It’s two and a half hours but it doesn’t feel like two and a half hours, the kids act the shit out of their roles, the jokes are funny, the thrills are thrilling, and the sexy-time is SO SEXY-TIME. I would’ve guessed a 93% for this sucker, maybe 87% if you account for the mean old dudes who are always going to find a way to lash out against anything young and female.

-The casting is mostly tops. I’m just going to go ahead and say this, because we’re all making Divergent and Hunger Games comparisons anyway, I think Shailene Woodley was just an inch better than Jennifer Lawrence and I cartoon-hearts-love JLaw in the HunGames. But Shailene’s such a MERYL in this role. It’s okay, America, you can have two sweethearts.

-Also, we need to talk about Theo James and how he is the sexiest leading man in a YA blockbuster to date, by like A GAZILLION MILES. I don’t normally even think actors are that sexy, I like poets and astrophysicists and other sundry weirdos but HOLY YA ADAPTATION CATS is Theo James cute.

– Lenny Kravitz’s daughter is so good as Random Best Friend, just kidding, I know it’s Christine or Christina or something.

-Also, it’s really funny that not only is Shailene/Tris’ brother played by Ansel Elgort, otherwise known as her cancer boyfriend in upcoming YA book-to-film The Fault in Our Stars BUT BUT BUT also Tris’ frenemy-who’s-really-just-her-enemy Peter is played by Miles Teller, who played her alcoholic boyfriend in last summer’s YA book-to-film The Spectacular Now. So basically, there are only four boy actors on Earth who are allowed to be in YA movies, and they’re all in Divergent.

Ashley Judd was so good as the mom! She should have her own cable series, her talents are wasted in supporting work! President Fitzgerald Grant Tony Goldwyn didn’t have nearly enough to do as the dad. It’s fine, he’s got Olivia Pope.

-Okay, the one bit of casting I was not into was Kate Winslet only because she’s SO GOOD and her talents were SO WASTED as A Villain in a Boring Skirt Suit Growing Out Her Boring Blonde Bob into a Boring Shoulder-Length Cut. This is fucking Rose Dewitt-Bucater-Dawson we’re talking about here, you don’t give boring thematic exposition and half-assed Bond villain speeches and nothing else to THE KATE. Lord on high, why doesn’t someone put me in charge of Hollywood already, I will banish all the bad casting to the far corners of the Earth and not let them do another Captain America movie, vote for me.

-One of my favorite things about the book is the slow burn romance between Tris and Four. We think he hates her for so long! They don’t kiss for, like, EVER! IT’S SO HOT. I though they captured this dynamic smashingly in the film. Like, okay, I get it, this is why the movie has to be two and a half hours, so I can spend an hour and forty five screaming “KISS HER NOW! BONE HER SOON!” at the screen and get shushed by everyone sitting next to me.

– I loved all the Crossfit Workouts of the Day Dauntless training sequences, but I was SO BUGGED by Tris’ two feet long ponytail. Yes, this is where we finally talk about that stupid fucking ponytail. I get that the character is in minimal makeup and black Lululemon shit the entire time and hair extensions are a way to add the glam. BUT LONG PONYTAILS ARE SO BAD FOR FIGHTING. Like, every time she fought someone I was sure they were going to yank her ponytail and use it as leverage to step on her neck and  no one ever did this even though they were fighting for their LIVES. That ponytail was the worst writing in this movie. LORDY.

-Dauntless makes running look so much fun and it’s NOT fun it’s SO dumb. They also make jumping look so easy and it’s NOT easy, it’s so hard. If I’m remembering rest of the series right, the next two movies are just going to be running and jumping and stabbing people in the necks with syringes and every once in a while there will be dialogue.

-Kyle Buchanan over at Vulture is positive that Divergent is secretly about CrossFit, and while I definitely see all the WODs in the story, I stand forever by my original proclamation that Divergent is just Myers-Briggs Fanfiction.

-I’ve decided that just because you’re Gryffindor does NOT mean you’re Dauntless. For example, I know in the deepest part of my heart that I am a Gryffindor, but I am not a Dauntless, I would be such a lame Dauntless, I’m much better served as, like, a nice Erudite or a deeply unfulfilled Abnegation. I think I just described Tris. Am I Tris? Are we all Tris?

Here’s what I do know. If you are Amity you are also Hufflepuff, Amity is just Hufflepuffs who are grade-grubbing too hard in Professor Sprout’s class.

I’m also pretty sure that Candor is just a passive-aggressive way of being Slytherin, but I’m still deciding.

What about you guys? Anyone else see the moov-ay? What did YOU think of Shailene’s ponytail?