Adapted from the opening book of Veronica Roth’s best-selling trilogy, Divergent is a rites of passage tale.
Shailene Woodley is perfect as the teenage protagonist, Beatrice Prior, who leads rebellion against a corrupt system. She is the beating heart of the film and tugs heartstrings in pivotal scenes of loss.
Chicago is divided into five factions - Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite - which exemplify positive aspects of the human personality: selflessness, cordiality, honesty, intelligence and courage. On one day each year, 16-year-olds undergo an aptitude test.
Beatrice’s test is inconclusive and she is declared a Divergent. She must hide this because Divergents threaten the finely balanced system and are being hunted by Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), strident leader of Erudite.
Winslet sinks her pearly whites into her first villainous role, and director Burger obscures her baby bump - she was five months pregnant - with laptops and folders that becoming a running joke by the end credits.
Divergent (12A, 139 mins).