Page to Picture: ‘Insurgent’ and What the F*!k is in the Box?

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Like most second installments in a franchise, the film gets a bigger budget and a whole lot of CGI work. That is of course the case for The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Though I am happy to say if you search “Insurgent” it does not follow the trend of having a long title like The Divergent Series: Insurgent, I guess studios have now realized that the audience does not need so much hand holding.

But onto more important issues, does the film live up the source material? Let’s dissect the similarities and difference between Insurgent the novel and Insurgent the film.

WARNING: Spoilers lay ahead…



Let’s begin with the book…

Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off. Tris, Four, Caleb, Peter and Marcus have found refuge within the Amity faction. Though their stay is not long when a group of Erudite and Dauntless (who now are working for Erudite) storm the faction looking for members of Abnegation. Tris, Four, and Caleb are able to escape by hoping on a train only to be greeted by group of factionless.

The whole second book is really the most action packed out of the three but it is not until Tris and Four meet with the leader of the factionless, Four’s mother – who was thought to be dead – Evelyn, where things really pick up. Evelyn confides in Four that she wants to create an army of factionless and Dauntless to take on Jeanine. Four is not thrilled by this idea and he and Tris head to Candor to be reunited with the remaining members of Dauntless. Once at Candor, Four and Tris are arrested and given the truth serum. Four admits that the only reason he stayed in Dauntless was because of Tris and Tris admits she was the one who killed Will.

Erudite attacks Candor. During this attack they learn that Jeanine is working on developing a serum that will affect Divergents. Dauntless traitor, Eric, is captured and Four has no problem killing him. Jeanine needs Divergents to test on so she creates a new simulation, every two days a member of Dauntless will commit suicide unless a Divergent is turned over. Of course Tris can not let this happen. Though she promises Four should would not do anything reckless, Tris turns herself over to Jeanine.

No surprise Four is taken prisoner when he tries to rescue Tris. The two only anger Jeanine and she decides that Tris and Four should just be executed. Though, Peter – who owes Tris because she saved his life – helps both her and Four escape. Four and Tris hide out in Abnegation where for the first time Tris admits she loves Four. While walking around her old neighborhood, Tris runs into Marcus and he tells her that her parents died trying to protect information Jeanine stole. Marcus, Tris, and Christina create an alliance with Johanna from Amity. The small group breaks into Erudite to find the data and release it the public. Of course there are hiccups along the way like Caleb, Tori thinking Tris is a traitor, Tori killing Jeanine, and Evelyn announcing a factionless government. But in the end the message is released. The video message features a woman, Edith Prior, who shares that the city of Chicago was sealed off from the rest of the world and should only open it’s walls once there is a greater number of Divergents…



Which brings us to the movie…

In terms of structure, all the same elements are present both within the book and film, but there were some major differences. Now, I maybe one of the few book fans that actually liked what the film did with the story. The film was able to condense and mainstream a lot of the plot. Yes, the book was better, the book is always better, but let’s be real. A LOT of stuff happens in the book and not everything can be covered in a 2 hour movie.

In the film, pretty much the whole story is built around a box that holds a message from the city’s founders that can only be unlocked by a divergent that can complete all five simulations (cough, cough Tris Prior). Jeanine is obsessed with opening this box and Tris is obsessed with not allowing anyone else die for her, so the two work together to get the damn box open and release the message. Most of the little subplots from the book are woven with the film. Here are some of the film’s big mix ups and my thoughts…

The Box 
I liked the box. I think it served a central purpose for the film and was able to combine several storylines. I also very much liked how obsessed Jeanine was with the box and how she did not know what the message was until it was released publicly.

The Supporting Cast
Yes, we finally get to meet Uriah but it was not enough! I do find it funny how the movie plays up the minor characters within the book series more. But I guess when you have actors like Kate Winslet (Jeanine), Miles Teller (Peter), and Ansel Elgort (Caleb) you use them more. I am always down for more Jeanine, I love what Teller has done with Peter, and watching Caleb run through the woods was very entertaining. Though I want more Christina, Tori, Uriah and we didn’t even meet Cara yet! These are characters that are huge parts of Allegiant. Maybe since the final book is being divided into two films we will get more character development?

The Marcus/Tris – Evelyn/Four Chats
Marcus and Tris have one run in during the movie and that is it! He never tells her about her parent’s involvement with the message. As far as Evelyn and Four, they never have any secret chats.

There is no talk of rebuilding Dauntless
In the book, the remaining of Dauntless elect new leaders. In the movie, everyone just listen’s to Four., which I am cool with. I would follow Theo James’ Four into the pits of hell…he is very pretty!

Four and Tris have sex?!?
I know it is a movie and everything happens faster than in a book but I am not a huge fan of how the films have accelerated the Four and Tris love story. Tris says she loves Four in the first film but in the books it doesn’t happen until late in the second. The two don’t actually have sex until the second act of the third book but it seems like sexy time happened in this film. Four and Tris have a complex love story so let’s not make it cookie cutter in the film.

The Ending
Tris and Four never leave the Erudite headquarters. Tris hooks herself back up the box and finished the final stimulation, fighting more like not fighting and forgiving herself. Tris unlocks the box and together everyone learns that there is a world outside the walls and Divergents are dangerous but actually the solutions! So take that Jeanine! So yea that was fine, no real shake up. Though after the message is broadcast, the walls are open and pretty much every citizen of Chicago starts making their way to the boarder…what? Evelyn does not declare a factionless government, though I am sure that will happen within the beginning moments of Allegiant, but she does kill Jeanine.

The whole “beyond the wall” thing kept reminding me of Game of Thrones! But what doesn’t…

The Divergent Series has diverged from the book series enough to make things interesting. I am excited to go “beyond the wall” when Allegiant comes out March 2016.

Insurgent is currently playing in theaters.

Kait Calabrò

Kait Calabrò

Lady Kaitlin Marie Bernadette Calabrò of House Ravenclaw, First of Her Name; Mother of Recaps, Breaker of News, Khaleesi of Wonder Wharf, Queen of Geekdom, and Empress of Anglophiles, is the Managing Editor of AGtM.  By day she is the Marketing Manager of the Philadelphia Film Society, by night she is a serious relationship with her Netflix account. Kait is a proud Temple Owl! And is currently in a celebrity feud with both Samuel L. Jackson and Zachary Levi, unbeknownst to them. She spends her evenings watching the skies waiting for Thor to fly down and take her back to Asgard!
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