Thursday, May 19, 2016

Divergent Review

Divergent directed by Neil Burger is a movie about a future dystopian society. The society, like many utopian societies, have a social class system called factions and each person gets to choose their own faction. The factions are Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite and they all live in harmony. There is no war, everyone has a purpose in life and everyone is wanted for that matter. Each class represents a certain quality. People of Abnegation are selfless, Amite are peaceful, Candor are honest, Dauntless are brave and Erudites are intelligent. What makes it dystopian  are the people who decide not to chose a faction and remain factionless. Those people who remain factionless are looked down upon in the society because they have no responsibilities or purpose. In the movie they are represented as homeless people huddled around a trash can fire for warmth. When the children are of age they are injected with a serum that presents their brain with a problem via hallucination. Based on how they solve that problem, that will show the characteristics of one of the factions. For example, if a person's mother was trapped in a burning building and they had to save her, someone who just rushed in to save their parent and rescue might be a Dauntless because those acts were very brave and fearless. On the other hand, someone who decided to use a fire hose to put out the fire might be an Erudite because that would be the smartest thing to do.
An extremely rare case of people called Divergents are ones that successfully solve the problem induced by the serum with a combination of solutions from multiple factions. The divergents in this society are made to seem dangerous and they are to be killed immediately. Divergents are not like the rest of the people. They question things like authority, they are smarter than average and they can think independently, free of government implications. This kind of power in your basic utopian society is quite dangerous so it's clear why they would be considered a threat.
Unfortunately the downfall of some utopian societies happens with a mistake as predicted in Plato’s Republic. A placement in the wrong faction or class. In this movie a girl name Beatrice was a divergent and the person who conducted the serum test on her recorded her result down as Abnegation, which was believable because that's what her parents were and how she was raised. The person who recorded her results warned her to keep her true Divergent results a secret. During the choosing ceremony Beatrice in a panic chose Dauntless. This choice foreshadowed the conclusion for me. Bravery is a powerful act especially given to someone that has qualities of all the other factions.
Throughout the movie Beatrice learns about the Dauntless. She makes friends and starts to realize that she infact does think differently from everyone else. In an extreme effort, the Erudites try to eradicate all of the Abnegations by using mind control technology. They planned to mind control the Dauntless who will then hunt down all of the members of Abnegation. The people who were unaffected by the mind control technology were the Divergents, of course Beatrice being the main one. Upon finding out this information Beatrice was furious because her parents were of Abnegation and she couldn't stand to see them slaughtered. At the same time, without being able to exploit her Divergent nature, she had to blend in with the other mind controlled Dauntless.
In a dramatic turn of events, Beatrice’s parents end up sacrificing themselves to save their beloved daughter from getting shot by taking the projectiles for her. This allowed Beatrice to get to the headquarters where the main operation was being uplifted by the Erudite’s corrupted leader. Just before all of the Abnegation was round up and sentenced to death by an execution order Beatrice was able to inject the Erudites leader with the same technology that was used to brain control the Dauntless. Having lost all free will, Beatrice was able to force the leader to cancel the program and stop the execution order. Even though she successfully disabled the mind control technology the fight was not over yet as Beatrice was identified as a Divergent and began to be hunted down by pre-existing rule. In a desperate plea of survival, Beatrice was able to escape the city along with some of her friends to start their hide out.
Neil Burger’s “Divergent” was an incredible dystopian movie with a bit of an alternate ending than we’re used to when looking at dystopias. The movie did have some utopian aspects like a class system, an uprising protagonist and an organized and controlled society. In the end however, the protagonist succeeded in exploiting and stopping the government while revealing what a nightmare the society truly was and managing to stay alive in the process. With the combination of bravery, intelligence, and selflessness Beatrice was able to find herself, realize that she is different from others and use that to her advantage. She was able to stop the ongoing corruption within the Erudites and change the outcome of the drastic execution orders. Even with the loss of both her parents, Beatrice was able to stay focused on the issue and solve the problem in a Divergent way just like in the serum induced psychological tests.

No comments:

Post a Comment