I read the book this film is based on a long time ago, in fact I read it straight after the first Hunger Games book as it was recommended as similar to that. The book is very complicated and in some places hard to follow but still a fantastic read and cracking story.
The story starts after the suggestion of some sort of war in America and Chicago is now surrounded by a wall and the residents are split into five factions, Abnegation, Amity, Erudite, Candor and Dauntless. Tris is Abnegation but chooses Dauntless as a way to find herself after being testing and found as Divergent, a person who can't be identified as one of the five factions. (see what I mean about complicated!)
The film was simplified somewhat to help the viewer follow it but didn't take away from the story and actually in some cases it was easier to understand because you could see what was happening rather than trying to visualise it. Also, each faction wears their own colours, which in the book really means nothing but in the film is helpful to remember which faction is everyone is from :-)
I had never even heard of the book until the trailers for this first came out. I don't think I'll get a chance to see it before it goes from cinemas, but knowing that it's simplified from the book makes me think that I'll wait for the DVD release, watch it, and then read the book! Nooooooo always read the book first!!!!
I saw Shailene Woodley in a horrendous American series called The Secret Life of the American Teenager and really didn't hold much hope for Theo James after he small part in The Inbetweeners. I have to be honest, I wasn't impressed with their CV's so was quite disappointed when I heard they were the leads. Fortunately, I was proven wrong, I loved these two throughout the film, although they may have been lacking the chemistry of other partnerships, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone for example. Some of the supporting actors/actresses were great to, Jai Courtney's Eric was suitably evil and steals every scene he is in. It was interesting to see Kate Winslet in a 'bad guy' role (could have hidden her pregnancy better though!!)
I'm glad you said that! I really wasn't impressed with the line up and that's probably why I haven't seen it yet, but now I might actually give it a try.
With the film set 150 years in the future, it was interesting to see what they would make the world look like and they nailed it. They made it exactly how I imagined it when I read the book and some of the dauntless zip lining scenes captured the visuals of the city perfectly.
All in all, very entertaining and I was gripped from beginning to end (even knowing what was going to happen). Some scenes became cheesy and awkward to watch but that aside it was really good and I would watch it again. However, I would definitely recommend reading the book first. Ohh, after I just said I'd do it the other way, haha!