“I can’t believe that they have desecrated something so sacred!” I burst out as soon as the Allegiant movie credits flashed onto the screen. My family can attest to that.
Let me back up.
In fourth grade, I finished the sumptuous feast that is the Divergent series, books that were so important to me in my childhood. Having been pleased years ago by the first movie adaption of the series, I had high, high hopes coming into the Allegiant movie…that you can already guess were not fulfilled.
[Warning: Reading ahead will reveal spoilers for the Divergent series]
If you’re familiar with the book and you’ve seen the movie, then you already know my largest grievance. Come on, say it with me out loud, and let’s relieve our agony together: orange!!
In the book, the world outside of Chicago is described as gloomy and dark, but in the movie, we get Kraft’s mac-and-cheese-flavored radioactivity!
I have no problem whatsoever with producers taking creative rights with the storyline—if the movie were the same as the book, no one would want to watch it, right?
Little plot meanderings and trimmings here and there will make a movie more enjoyable to sit through, but when it’s obvious that a three hour film won’t do justice to such a heavy book’s plot, then the movie project must be split into two. (Think Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.) Allegiant undoubtedly fell under this category, and I’m devastated that instead of making two films, the movie cut out half of the book’s plot, half of the characters, and hacked away at Veronica Roth’s masterpiece until it arrived at a sloppy post-apocalyptic world.
Uriah who? Cara who? So many members of the crew that accompanied Tris and Tobias out of Chicago weren’t present at all. Instead, the movie blew 90% of its precious duration on slow camera pans to show off “breath-taking”—but really, irrelevant—technology.
However, I did appreciate a few parts—that is, when I wasn’t being blinded by the orange. In spite of the twisted storyline in the movie, the script stayed true to the main characters’ identities. Tobias was Theo James (sorry but I can’t find any flaws with that.) Evelyn, his dictator mother, maintained her redemptive arc in the end, giving up power to be with her son. Peter, the “bad guy” who hangs out with the “good guys,” was sharp, sarcastic, and self-absorbed. My favorite line of the movie was “[t]hat’s why you pick a guy like me for a job like this,” intended for his boss to hear, which he delivers after shooting Evelyn in the knee when she turns back on their dark plan.
But, ok, I’ve reached my last complaint: Tris didn’t die in her quest to restore goodness in the world. This movie doesn’t deserve the name Allegiant if the ending doesn’t plunge its claws into your chest, wrench your heart out, and render you a sobbing shell of a human being for the next week.
Have you watched Allegiant? Share your thoughts in the comments! — Ritu B. ’24
For those who enjoyed this book, Ritu has recommended The Lunar Chronicles series for you to check out!