“Insurgent” creates new story, same characters

Daniel Skinner, Entertainment Editor

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Following the success of the popular “Divergent” movie, based on the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, Summit Entertainment continues the story in “Insurgent,” which premiered in theaters on March 20. While it is loosely based on the story of the actual novel, the film has a well-developed, but separate plot with plenty of action and thought-provoking content.

“Insurgent” starts off with Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) and her band of refugees hiding from the cunning and cold Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), the leader of the Erudite class who is hunting down the divergent population in their five-faction society. After escaping a place she once called home, Tris struggles with the deaths of her mother and friends and has a difficult time staying calm when she feels that her home is in danger. This prompts conflicts with her boyfriend, Four (Theo James), Johanna Reyes and Jack Kang, the leaders of the Amity and Candor factions respectively (Octavia Spencer and Daniel Dae Kim), and most importantly with herself.

The film’s primary plot, which has little to no correlation with the novel’s, deals with a box that Tris’ parents were hiding from the Erudite. After Jeanine manages to obtain the box, she discovers that its secrets can only be released by a complete divergent, someone who has all the values of each of the five factions. As she believes it holds the key to completely eradicating the divergents from their faction-based society, Jeanine places all her efforts on capturing and finding the divergents.

While the film certainly differs from the novel, it holds its own in the universe that Roth created for the series. The story is well-developed and ties together the most essential pieces from the book while also generating a new environment for the characters she established.

The environment itself in the film was quite appealing to see. Combining live locations (farmland and city architecture), green screen animations and completely digitally-generated settings with the characters of the film, the movie was able to make any reality possible — which is especially useful in “Insurgent,” considering all the internal and external conflicts that occur over the course of the story. It is enjoyable to watch as Tris actually explores the depths of her own imagination and fears in a metaphysical kind of way.

Additionally, Spencer and Kim give the movie a touch of elegance in their solid performances as Johanna and Jack. Without needing much character background in the context of the film, these two tell the stories of their characters through their basic gestures, tone of voice and contrasting facial expressions. Even though the two never meet in the movie, they complement each other as mentors to Tris. Winslet also performs excellently as the antagonist of the film, successfully managing to make her character as hateable as possible for her prejudices.

Ultimately, while “Insurgent” diverges from the original storyline made by Veronica Roth, it is a well-done and exceptional film.

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“Insurgent” creates new story, same characters