Saturday, March 28, 2015

Much as one of the teenagers came out fuming that Insurgent veered off the book's path, I enjoyed it. In as much as I'll ever enjoy a film that basically consists of a large group of people trying to kill each other for one reason or another.

As teen movies go, this one is a lot of fun. The people are mostly beautiful. The art direction is stunning. The costumes (does that count as art direction?) are mostly understated, brilliantly well thought through, casually evocative. Just spot on. (Though I haven't read the books!) The set design (and surely oodles of CGI) is excellent.

But it's the plot that I salute. Divergent, the predecessor, tells of Tris who discovers that she doesn't fit into any of the four tribes / packs / kinds of people that exist in the world. Some bad stuff happens as a consequence. Luckily she finds some other people that are a bit like her. There's some death. The end. 

Insurgent gives us a paranoid Tris who feels certain she leaves disaster (death) in her wake and has become terrified of shadows. But not terrified like I would be. Terrified in a way that means she's still ridiculously brave, strong, daring and bold. 

Unfortunately, it turns out that due to Tris' 'defective' nature, she holds the key to saving the world so the queen evil one (brilliantly played again by an icy Kate Winslet) hunts her down. 

Tris' companions do an excellent job of hiding her from evil Kate but Tris is over-flowing with goodness and turns herself in to prevent more children being sent to their deaths as blackmail for their collective concealing. 

And the major cleverness is that to save the world, Tris then has to perform a series of tasks which have broken the necks (oddly, literally) of others before her. The series of tasks mainly involve people whom she knows nastily accusing her of being deadly and she has to smartly, strongly, bravely figure out that they're not real. (Belated spoiler alert, btw.)

It's a clever very clever story (though not true to the book, remember). The teenager's favourite theme: not fitting in. Coupled with the teenager's favourite paranoia: that everyone secretly hates them. Beautifully united in this story of drawing on boundless inner reserves of wisdom, insight, loyalty and compassion to make just, fair and right decisions when people confound you.  

Would that we were all more like Tris.


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