I am not going to say I loved the books, but I did enjoy reading the Divergent trilogy. Unlike other readers, I came to the series after it had ended. By the time I finished with the 3rd book, Allegiant, I had already seen the frustration online in regards to the ending. I was able to appreciate the reason for the ending because I knew some of what was coming.
As the news about the movies came out, I was surprisingly less excited than I expected to be. The cast, especially the adult characters, was fantastic. The younger adult cast seemed solid enough. I was pleased with the casting of Four, a character I found more compelling than our main character. I was not alone in my fascination with Four. Many younger fans seemed pleased with the casting.
Movie one came out, but I waited for video. It was OK.
Movie two came out, but I waited for HBO. It was OK, but very different from the books.
I was trying to get a sense of why things were changed. I am fine with changes to help managed the number of characters or to make the story easier to tell in movie format. Some of the changes they made left me confused about how they were going to move the story forward.
Movie three came out and, again, I ignored it. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. When the news came out that the planned fourth movie might just be a TV movie, I realized I had to know just how bad the 3rd movie had been.
The idea that a book trilogy needed to be made into 4 movies was clearly just a money making scheme. This is the third series that has split the last book into two movies. The idea is simple: they want to tell the entire story as the author intended it to be told. Harry Potter was the first to make this decision. They had increasingly cut content from later books, content that may have been important later, to accommodate a single movie per book. Then the final, 7th book, had far more than they could put into a single movie. Was it worth the 2 movies? Yes, but even with 2 movies they cut out things I wish had been included. More on that when I pick up my re-read of Harry Potter again.
Then the Hobbit happened and one book was made into 3 movies. The Hunger Games followed Harry Potter’s example and made the final book into 2 movies. Were those good ideas? It wasn’t necessary, but they weren’t terrible decisions. The Hobbit incorporated additional content written by Tolkein (and son), but created it’s own content. The Hunger Games was able to include almost every element of the final book. Nothing seemed cut out.
The Divergent series does not need 4 movies. In fact, having just watched movie 3 this past week, I can tell you they went too far to make the plan work. The vast majority of the 3rd movie was created by the movie makers. The movie ended and, while I know the ending is completely wrong and not in any way like the book, I liked it as a franchise ending. It had complete closure for the story: good guys save the day and bad guys don’t get their way.
I suspect what they want to do with the ending (no spoilers), but I don’t see a way for them to make it work that fits the theme of the story. No wonder fans aren’t as interested in the series anymore. I don’t blame the actors for being irritated.
I feel like this is a lesson: tell the story, don’t try to make the money. Don’t squeeze your story into too few books or movies, but additionally, don’t try to stretch out the story to make more money. There is always another story to tell and if it’s good then the viewers/readers will come.
What did you think of the Divergent series books or movies? Are you interested in a 4th? What about if it was just Four doing stuff?
I mean, I would watch a movie of Four just doing stuff…