I was lucky enough to be able to cover the first stop in the Divergent tour for TrisandFour.com, down south in the beautiful city of Atlanta! I’ve tried to come up with the perfect word to describe the entire event, but I don’t think one exists, so we’re just going to go with PERFECT.

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The energy was high. I haven’t seen this amount of hype from a fan base since Twilight fan camp days. Summit Entertainment is brilliant when it comes to involving the fandoms in their franchises so it feels like more than just a movie… it’s an experience. It’s something we love coming to life and us being a part of it. My first encounter when we arrived at the theater was the long line of fans outside, waiting for just a glimpse, for a chance to get inside and be a part of it. Big shout out to the girls fighting the bitter cold, wearing their red and yellow Amity dresses. Now that’s love and dedication. I was freezing in my winter coat! Inside of the theater was even crazier, fans everywhere in their Divergent gear, wearing their faction colors, clutching copies of Divergent, chatting excitedly about the books and their excitement for the movie. They drove and flew in from all over the country just to be a part of it. AMAZING.

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More photos here

Theo James and Shailene Woodley were amazing, stunning and personable, professional yet natural. It feels like they were made for this. Perfect casting. Although the “red carpet” was brief, it was a truly a spectacular event. (Note: I loved the fact that the carpet was black… again, brings me back to the Twilight “red carpets”. Summit definitely knows how to class it up, while keeping a casual feel to it). Theo and Shai’s chemistry is palpable even off-screen. And Theo beatboxing. BEATBOXING. As if he wasn’t perfect before.

On to the movie…

I’ve seen many books-turned-movies, and I’m a fan of quite a lot of them. But few have ever translated to screen quite as beautifully as Divergent. There wasn’t a single moment while watching it where the book lover in me cringed or thought ‘this was so much better in the book’. They absolutely NAILED it. I can’t even come up with the words to adequately describe how amazing it was. It didn’t feel like they were trying to film a book, like some adaptions tend to feel like when watching. It didn’t feel disjointed, like they were just scenes thrown together. This was a genuine full-fledged movie from beginning to end, the transitions between scenes fluid, everything fused together to tell a complete story. As a reader, I went in knowing how things unfolded, but the movie still kept me on the edge of my seat. The actors truly were their characters, and I’m amazed at the intensity in which some of the scenes translated. As with all adaptions, of course some things had to be altered to work on screen, but there wasn’t anything that felt off or like it didn’t belong. They truly did the book justice, while managing to keep it fresh, so fans of the books and people with no knowledge of the series will come out satisfied by the story told.

Perfect.

Go see Divergent on March 21st. I promise you won’t regret it. I’ll personally be moving into the theater that weekend, surviving off of popcorn and Four. I can’t imagine a better way to live. BE BRAVE, INITIATES. Two more weeks!

Thank you Summit for the wonderful event, and to Neil Burger and everyone involved in the production of Divergent!

~J.M. Darhower

 

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