Divergent Blu-ray Review
For fans of the novel or newbies, the Blu-ray and DVD version of “Divergent” is out. Should you add the sci-fi actioner to your collection? Check out Kidzworlds review!
By: Lynn Barker
What if you had very limited choices for your future? You are born into one group but long to fit into another? 16-year-old Beatrice Prior is going for it. Will her future hold love and success or only pain?
In her post-war society, Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) is part of the Abnegation Faction known for selfless behavior. She longs to belong to the brave and adventurous Dauntless group. When she can, she chooses them and must leave her family behind.
When she was tested for which factions she best fits, her results called her “Divergent”. She doesn’t properly match any one faction. Not fitting into a neat pocket is death in her society. In training to become a Dauntless member, Tris (her new name for herself) is teased and has to prove herself more than many others do. There are enemies in fellow trainee Peter (Miles Teller) and lead trainer Eric (Jai Courtney) but it is hot trainer Four (Theo James) who becomes her crush and vice-versa.
Tris passes her tests both psychological and physical as her relationship with Four gets serious. She is initiated into Dauntless and learns that Four is also secretly Divergent. The young couple learns that the Erudite Faction headed by cold, ambitious Jeannine (Kate Winslet) plans to drug and use Dauntless members to fight a war of leadership for them, kicking out the Abnegation group now running the government. Being Divergent, Four and Tris find out they are immune to the drug and must save Tris’s family, their friends and, hopefully stop the war.
Playing over the film we have two Commentaries – The one with Director Neil Burger talks about his biggest challenges and why he shot in Chicago. He is fond of praising his cast and crew and maybe states the obvious a lot but okay to listen to after you have seen the film.
The second Commentary by the producers is chatty and goes into behind the scenes casting and shooting challenges. Little asides about the actors abound.. (for example that Shailene and Ansel Elgort went from a bro/sis relationship in this film to play lovers successfully in The Fault in Our Stars, etc.).
Bringing Divergent to Life – the 4-part “making of” documentary is pretty cool with a ton of comments by all the actors and lots on set footage, more than most. The documentary featurette covers casting, locations, character relationships, boot camp and fight training, love scenes, the society, action sequences, how darn pleased author Victoria Roth was with the whole film, the music and interviews at the L.A. premiere. A very complete extra especially for fans of the actors.
Faction Before Blood- This extra explores the various faction groups in the film and Shailene and others explain what each means, how it works etc. Actors all say which faction they would pick. If you didn’t read the books, this is very helpful for better understanding the film.
Deleted Scenes – Not too many but worth watching. All were in the novel and were undoubtedly cut for time.
“Beating Heart” music video – The song by Ellie Goulding written to explore the love story in the film. You’ll either get into it or not. Worth a listen.
As I mentioned in my review of the film in theaters, your enjoyment level of Divergent might depend on whether you read and are a fan of the book or not. The extras on this Blu-ray set do help flesh out both the story and shooting experience so you are better set up for the second film in the series if you watch them.
The Blu-ray and DVD look and sound great. Extras are more complete than most and contain more actor comments than many home entertainment offerings lately. You really get some fun footage on the various sets and learn how the filmmakers and actors managed each scene. Much of this and tough boot camp training experiences are commented upon by the young cast so this Blu-ray/DVD is well worth adding to your collection whether you are a big fan or just like YA-novels-turned-to-film entertainment.
With the many in-depth extras considered, we go 4 stars.
Divergent Blu-ray Rating:
Divergent is now available on Blu-ray + DVD!
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Deleted Scene "Attacked in the Night"