‘Divergent’: How the movie compares to the book

THEO JAMES and SHAILENE WOODLEY star in DIVERGENT
The attraction between Tris and Four builds almost as slowly onscreen as it does in the book.
Credit: Summit Entertainment

Virtually any time a movie based on a best-selling book comes out, waves of criticism follow about the differences between the two. But when “Divergent” (finally) premieres on March 21, critical readers will be hard pressed to find inconsistencies.

The movie sticks extremely close to the book: The characters look like they should, post-apocalyptic Chicago is as bleak as described, and the sexual tension between Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) is as thick as author Veronica Roth intended.

When we spoke with Maggie Q, who plays Tori, and Mekhi Phifer, who plays Dauntless leader Max, both actors told us that while Roth was on set most of the time, she kept her opinions to herself. “She’s just so thrilled that all this is happening,” said Maggie Q. “She’s really smart and thoughtful about what we’re doing with the film, but she was in no way looking over people’s shoulders. She was just so open, which I think is really cool because when it’s your material, sometimes you get too close to it.”

Still, many actors did use Roth as a resource on set, asking specific questions about their characters’ backstories and soliciting the author’s insight. But while some actors took advantage of Roth’s presence and the book, Phifer chose to study the script instead, in fear that the book would get in the way of how his character had been adapted for the film. “I want to read them [eventually], but I didn’t want to be jaded,” he told us.

In a past interview, Woodley mentioned that the book is 400 pages and the script is only 90 pages, so of course some things have to be left out. This presents itself primarily in some of the interrelationships between the characters, not the action or fighting. The romantic relationship between Christina (Zoe Kravitz) and Will (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) is boiled down to a fun flirtation. Al (Christian Madsen) also plays a much smaller part than in the book, not really forming any close friendships.

Still, the elements of the book that matter most are truly brought to life on the big screen. For fans of the book, seeing the movie will be far from a letdown — it will be a sweet reward.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

Movies

Interview: Elisabeth Moss on not talking about the…

Elisabeth Moss talks about how it's best if you don't know the opening twist in "The One I Love" and giving up Peggy Olson after nine years of "Mad Men."

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.