December 29, 2016

So, “Teen Dystopia” is its own genre now? Back when I was a teen, I was quite sure that “the man” was out to get me…by stamping out all free thought, individuality and creativity. Turns out, it was just my mom. I kid, I kid – she likely wasn’t any worse than any other mother in the 90s. But that’s the thing. Most (American) teenagers feel oppressed by school, home, work, society…by someone. (I parenthesize American because that’s what I know…I’d like to assume that aboriginal teens are just as over dramatic, but…)

After seeing a smidgen of the film at my in-law’s house – probably a year ago – I got interested in the films. But first, the books. When at all possible and/or practical, I try to read the books before the film. I borrowed the books from my son and got to it. I tore through the first two books in short order…and I liked them. Sure, they were simply written and not geared to a 40 year old woman, but they were entertaining and thought-provoking. Sure, I wanted to slap the shit out of Tris, but flawed characters are fun to read. She wasn’t just an empty vessel for the reader’s desire (see Bella/Twilight). The film aligned fairly closely to the book. The changes in characters and motivation made sense in the context of the film. There was a bit too much Jeanine – they should have made her more mysterious – but that is my only major book-based criticism.

I didn’t even know who Shailene Woodley was until Divergent, but she IS Tris to me – to the extent that I really can’t see her as anyone else. Woodley is getting lots of roles and hype, so maybe she’ll be able to break free of the label.

So…this film is why I hate Miles Teller. I know it’s totally nonsensical, but his character Peter is such a dick that now he will ALWAYS be a dick to me. Kind of like how Tony Goldwyn (also in this film) will always be a dick after Ghost and how Gwyneth Paltrow will always be a cunt after ANY film she has been in. Teller is a great actor, but I just want to punch him in his smirk.

I admit it. I’m not a teenager, but I liked Divergent. Maybe I’ll like those Hunger Games movies, too. I guess I need to read those so I can watch the films. Is there some sort of support group for this kind of thing?

Year – 2014
Rating – PG-13
Runtime – 139 minutes
Genre – Teen Dystopia
Director(s) – Neil Burger
Writer(s) – Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor, Veronica Roth
Actor(s) – Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller
BOB Rating – Three BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Don't try and define me." - Tris (Shailene Woodley)