Sooo, in anticipation of the next Divergent Series movie, Insurgent, being released I decided to reread the first two books in the series. This may be a book nerd problem that I have. I did with almost every book in the Harry Potter series. I did it with both the DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. And I’ve done it with several others.
It used to be something that I did in order to see how close the movie and the book were going to be in order to judge how good (or most of the time, bad) the movie was going to be. But as I’ve gotten older and more books are being turned into movies, I have learned something. It is very rare that the movie is going to be anywhere near as good as the book, and I have found that, in most cases, this helps me to appreciate the book more.
In the case of Divergent, it had been so long since I had read the book that I forgot all the differences between the book and the movie, of which there are many. Divergent, the book, is by far better than Divergent, the movie. And I understand why there have to be these differences. With a movie there is a time crunch. You have to be able to fit a story into a limited amount of time, so you have to cut things out. I think the biggest thing that makes a book better than a movie is the fact that for much of a book you, as a reader, are in the mind of the narrator of the story. Getting into the mind and knowing the thoughts of a character in a movie is almost impossible to do without making the movie super cheesy.
The movie Divergent is also setting up a world that a franchise is going to be based on, so there is a lot of technical stuff that needs to be done in order to set up that world for the viewer, so while the movie was still exciting, there was definitely more time setting up the dystopian world that it is centered around, therefore cutting some very exciting parts from the story.
Insurgent, on the other, hand takes you into the story immediately and picks up right where we left off and is nothing but action from the word “Go.” While there are some things in the story that are definitely a big change with some things being taken out and other things being added in order to keep some of the great scenes from the book, it was a great movie. I’m still not sure how I feel about the end of it. I’m interested to see how they are going to pick it back up again for the beginning of Allegiant: Part 1. I’m not sure how it’s going to work, but we will see.