‘Insurgent’: an emotional roller coaster

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On March 20, I went to see the second film in the “Divergent” series, “Insurgent.” The cast includes Shailene Woodley (Tris Prior), Theo James (Four), Kate Winslet (Jeanine Matthews), Miles Teller (Peter) and Ansel Elgort (Caleb Prior). As a lover of the “Divergent” series, I had high expectations for this film, since I loved the first one. Luckily, this film followed closely to the book, with a few changes that did not bother me much.

One way in which the film differs from the book is the character of Johanna Reyes (played by Octavia Spencer), the leader of the Amity faction. In the book, Johanna played a major role and was portrayed as a strong, independent woman. In the film, however, she has a very small part, and the audience does not receive any background information on her life. But, I did still enjoy Spencer’s portrayal of Johanna and look forward to seeing more of her in the third installment, “Allegiant.”

What I enjoyed most about the film was the emotional rollercoaster that the protagonist, Tris, experiences throughout the narrative. From the beginning of the film, Tris is not herself. She has lost her mother, father, and friend Will, and she is having trouble coping. She even cuts her hair as a way to somehow erase some of the pain she is feeling, but this only works for so long. Tris hits her rock bottom when she is put under a truth serum and is forced to admit that she is and feels responsible for the deaths of all of her loved ones. At that moment, the emotional burden she is carrying is evident, and the audience sees how hard of a time she is having dealing with everything.

Luckily, Tris has Four, her boyfriend, who is the one good thing in her life and who keeps her from going completely over the edge. He is the one person who has never and will never betray her. He stands by her side through everything and still chooses her, even over his own mother. That is what I admire most about Four: his dedication and loyalty to Tris. It seems to be the two of them against the world, and nothing can separate them, except maybe Tris’ need to help others.

The last trait of Tris’ that is a constant theme throughout “Insurgent” is her constant need and want to help and protect others. She cares immensely for others and always puts others before herself, even if that means she will be harmed. That is where she and Four differ. Four will always put the safety of Tris before anyone, including himself. Tris, on the other hand, would never agree with this. She does not see the value in herself that everyone (including Four) sees and would easily give her life up for the better of humankind.

The final character that I appreciated, surprisingly, was Peter Hayes (played by Miles Teller). To be honest, I did not like his character in “Divergent” at all. I found him to have no redeeming qualities, which continues to be true for parts of “Insurgent.” But, most stories have a character who eventually redeems him or herself, and this character was Peter. Although he does not change completely, he does gain some redeemable qualities that make him a more decent person.

I would highly recommend “Insurgent.” The only things holding it back, albeit slightly, are some of the differences from the book to film. Other than that, it is wonderful; time and money well spent.