I will admit, I tried to hate this movie. I tried hard. I turned my nose up at it when it hit theaters back in March; I gave it a ‘wait for DVD’ status on my to-see list, even then I was weary about it. Watching previews for it I was reminded of so many science fiction novels of the past with the idea of the post-apocalyptic caste system. But I had to see what all the hype was about. Starring “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” star Shailene Woodley alongside previous co-star from The Spectacular Now Miles Teller and co-star from The Fault in Our Stars Ansel Elgort, and including Theo James, Ashley Judd, and Kate Winslet, the cast was likeable. Woodley has the ability to play a naively innocent teenager perfectly, as she has done many times in the past, which is exactly what this film called for.
The story line is genuinely entertaining. The whole movie takes place in an apocalyptic Chicago. The people of the city are broken into five groups; a lot of the castes seem to focus on simplistic ideas, which make it seem like there is directed hostility towards capitalism, with the leaders of the intellectual group being the main antagonists and also essentially the head of the other groups. The other “factions” as they are called focus on things like selflessness (the original group that Woodley’s character was born into), peacekeeping, honesty, bravery, and protecting the people of the city. Even with the notion that each of the groups were not allowed to communicate at all with each other, which is a very over done concept, the story line held its own. I guess there’s a comfort in watching the same thing that has been done before.
Without wanting to give anything away, despite the rest of the movie being entertaining enough, the ending of the movie was very disappointing and extremely predictable. With 3 more films to be released with 2 other books in the series, the end of this first installment was extremely final. It would have been a fine enough film independently, which is how I would have thought it was if I didn’t already know that there was more to come. The ending leaves nothing to what could possibly come, or even that there is more to come; with so many deaths in the first of the series, not saying whose, it just seemed to end. But I guess we’ll just have to wait until next March to see where this is going.
Article by Krista Skweres