The high rating of this film probably stems from the fact that dystopian films such as Hunger Games, such as this one, are very popular at the moment. Some would say that it is a pale copy, some that it is a crumb better, but all in all, its financial success cannot be denied. Despite all the flaws that this achievement has, it kept me nailed to the screen for all 140 minutes, I even wanted more. There will definitely be more because this film is only the first part of the announced trilogy.
The plot of the film takes place in a potentially futuristic environment, after the devastating apocalypse that almost destroyed humanity, in Chicago. Social organization functions according to certain divisions of the population on the basis of five human characteristics that represent the virtues of the human race: 1. Peaceful, 2. Selfless, 3. Fearless, 4. Intelligent and 5. Honest. The divided factions do not mix well with each other, and there is even open intolerance and quiet enmity between some of them. At the center of the story is young Beatrice, who turns 16. At that age, young people are determined for factions by a special test that distributes them, but they can, if they want, choose the faction themselves. She lives with her parents in the Unselfish faction and her parents want her to choose to stay there.
However, Beatrice has always felt that she belongs somewhere else, she has always admired the brave and militant faction that protects the population – the Fearless. After the test shows that Beatrice is even destined for three factions, and that phenomenon is rare and forbidden under the threat of death because it is different. She was warned by the woman who did the test with her to never share that information with anyone, and it will be written that the test ruled that she was from the parent faction. However, Beatrice finally chooses to approach the Fearless to the great surprise of everyone, especially her parents. That is when her life adventure begins, for which she herself does not know if she is ready.
It is impossible not to draw parallels with the movie / series Hunger Games. This film is based on Veronica Roth’s bestseller, the screenplay for the film was adapted by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor, which talks about the potential fate of the human race. In this case, too, a trilogy will be made, and the theme is exactly the same as in Hunger Games, only packaged a little differently. The director of the film is Neil Burger, a very good director who has titles like Limitless (2011) or even better the film The Illusionist (2006) and others. Although his trademark until this film was the preferred small budget, and he can do a lot with it. In this case, we can’t say that it’s because 85 million dollars were spent on the film, although in this case it paid off because the film has earned almost twice as much so far. Neil puts some complicated things in a simple environment or vice versa, and that is why his films stand out.
The young Shailene Woodley is a new American hope that has been proven in the films The Descendants (2011) and The Spectacular Now (2013). I won’t say that she is neither a good nor a bad actress in this film, but I can’t help but point out how much her character is borrowed from Hunger Games. There are a lot of qualities from Katniss Everdeen and only the best ones, there are no flaws. Two very likeable and solid actors play the main male protagonists in the film, and these are Theo James (Underworld: Awakening) and Jay Courtney (Jai Courtney) whom we noticed in the fifth sequel to Die Hard, and he played interesting roles and in Jack Reacher (2012) and I, Frankenstein (2014).
However, if we are really talking about good acting in this film, it was done by supporting actors, namely Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, and I must definitely mention my pet, a very high quality actor Ray Stevenson in a shorter but effective and very interesting role that promises to appear in sequels.
So, all in all, despite the flaws I pointed out, a watchable and tense accomplishment. By far the biggest flaw – predictable. If you are a fan of apocalyptic and dystopian films, definitely a recommendation, because this film has everything, drama, fight, love story, intrigue. It’s just a shame it’s all already been seen in Hunger Games.