Veronica Roth’s Allegiant was met with a lot of criticism from the fans. If the film adaptation hitting the big screen this week just changes these four things, everyone might leave a little happier!
Warning: This post contains major spoilers from the Allegiant book by Veronica Roth.
So far the Divergent film franchise has definitely taken some liberties with the source material. Divergent was quite faithful, but Insurgent changed some pretty major plot points. Many fans are likely hoping that the Allegiant and Ascendant film teams will exercise the same freedom and give us the third (and apparently fourth) story we wanted. I took a look at four things that I think, if changed, would go a long way in making the film more satisfying.
While there are many parts of Allegiant that were problematic to say the least, there were also some great moments that I hope we get to see in Allegiant and Ascendant!
What the ‘Allegiant’ film should change from the book
1. The lack of Chicago
We spent all of Divergent and Insurgent getting to know Chicago and the people that live there, only to almost immediately leave them behind with barely a second glance in Allegiant. This leaves the finale of the series to be filled with a bunch of characters that we’ve never met and who can’t possibly be anything other than plot devices.
Tris and Four could stay in the city longer, they could come back at some point, or the movie could show us more of what’s going on in the city through the surveillance feeds at the bureau. All of these would be good ways to keep in touch with Chicago and how the city is evolving after the fallout of Insurgent.
Will it change? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: 4.8
Most of the promotional material has been focused on the journey of the characters after they leave the city and with basically all of the characters we care about in the films outside the wall with Four and Tris, it’s not likely the city will get much screen time. However, this could change in Ascendant!
2. The explanation of the genetic crisis
I’m no geneticist and I’d be willing to bet that Veronica Roth isn’t either, because it seems like there are some pretty significant holes in the argument for why the Chicago experiment was started.
Even if we suspend our disbelief for the purposes of the story, which is fine because I don’t think anyone came to Allegiant for a biology lesson, there are some problems. The explanation is confusing to begin with, but it seems to change a little bit depending who is telling it. Nita and Matthew both have their theories which complicate things and these only get more skewed through Tris and Four’s attempts at understanding. The film would definitely benefit from a more simplistic telling of how the world came to be in its current state.
Will it change? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: 5.5
I’d say this one is pretty likely since the film doesn’t allow us into Tris and Four’s inner thoughts and has the added benefit of potentially being able to show us what happened rather than telling us.
3. The plan to save their city
In my opinion this is Allegiant’s biggest problem. The problem begins with Tris’ plan to save Chicago from the memory serum virus that the bureau plans to unleash on them. After being so appalled that the bureau would stoop to such a level, her plan is to hop right down on that level with them, and erase their memories first!
The problem may begin with Tris but it doesn’t end there. An equal flaw is that Four goes along with the plan even though he has extreme resignations. It makes him seem weak and that is one thing he is not. The whole plan was hastily put together and took everyone out of character. A better option would be to focus more on the crisis within the city or to find a different way of stopping the bureau.
Will it change? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: 5
This one could really go either way. The Allegiant film team may choose to stay faithful to the source material, but it could also choose a more severe scenario than the Chicago citizens having their memory wiped which could warrant a different reaction from Tris and Four.
4. The reason Tris…I guess I’ll say it…one more spoiler alert…dies
I may be in the minority here but I’m actually okay with the fact that our leading lady is no longer with us at the end of Allegiant. What I’m not okay with, however, is the plan (see above) and the circumstances that got her there. Veronica Roth made a strong choice in killing her, but to make a choice like that you have to have the story to back it up
I understand that in the case of war, people die without warning, ceremony or any real reason. Finnick Odair and Fred Weasley are both heartbreaking examples of that. First of all though, this isn’t a war, it’s a stupid plan concocted without much thought for the logistics or the consequences. Second of all, this shouldn’t happen to the main character of the story!
The book throws the following quote in our faces quite a few times: “You should only let someone sacrifice himself for you if it’s the ultimate way for them to show they love you.” This is Tris’ justification for not letting Caleb sacrifice himself, since that is not his reason, but how does it make sense as her reason either? Who is anybody sacrificing themselves for? Caleb volunteered to die because of the immense guilt he felt over his despicable actions and now he gets to feel even more guilt for the rest of his life! Thanks a lot, Tris. It just doesn’t work.
Her dying this way does nothing to further her character arc as we already know she is both selfless and brave enough to sacrifice herself for others that she loves. She does it in Insurgent. However, if the film were to make her death mean something for her character, I could get behind it.
Will it change? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: 5.5
If the film uses the same final conflict as the book, it is likely her death will happen in the same manner. If they go with a different conflict, they could hopefully give her death more meaning or not kill her at all!
What the ‘Allegiant’ movie should keep from the book
1. The Fourtris date on the ferris wheel
When Tris and Four take some time out of all the craziness and confusion happening in the city after the Edith Prior reveal it is really the only date they ever have (and I mean ever *cries*). Their lives have pretty much been surrounded by chaos since they met each other and it’s nice to see them take some time to just appreciate each other. With the film being split, this would be a perfect thing to put into some of that extra time. Really I’ll just take any excuse for more Four!
Will we see it? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: 5.8
This one is basically guaranteed. Even if it wasn’t featured in the promotional material (like the photo above), the Divergent films have always played up the romance and hopefully Allegiant and Ascendant won’t be an exception to that. The reason this doesn’t rate a
Tris 6 on the scale is because it doesn’t look like the date will take place on the ferris wheel.
2. Zeke and Amar
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Four had friends before Tris came along! Four is a lovable character in his own right, not just as an extension of Tris. Having these characters gives him license to exist as a separate entity in a way that doesn’t tear him down like so much of Allegiant does. Four’s parents serve this purpose also, but his friends can show a different side of him.
Will we see them? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: Plain old Tobias Eaton
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like either of these people have been cast so we’ll just have to keep falling in love with Four through Tris’ eyes. I guess we’ll manage.
3. The Natalie Prior backstory
What we find out about Natalie Prior’s involvement with the bureau and the Chicago experiment is one of the strongest parts of Allegiant. This plot helps to develop Tris as an individual character and also showcases where her relationship with Caleb stands at this point. Her mother’s journals also give us one of the best accounts of what is happening in the world and help to grow our distrust of the bureau.
Will we see it? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: 5.6
Another likely one! The Divergent films have really played up Tris’ mother so I’m betting they won’t miss this opportunity to do that some more. Maybe the film will use Natalie Prior’s journals as an even better tool in furthering the story and Tris’ character development.
The real world aspect
One of the coolest parts of Divergent is that it takes place in the real city of Chicago! The films have done a great job of utilizing that to their advantage by featuring well known structures that make the city unique.
The Allegiant book continues to play into this by setting the bureau inside of O’Hare airport. There are also scenes where the characters see billboards that were left behind, take a trip to “the fringe” (a city full of “genetically damaged” people) and take a plane ride to see more of what is left of the real world. Structures that actually exist and well known places would all be interesting and fun to see in the film.
Will we see it? Likelihood on a scale of 4 to 6: 4.5
From the promotional material, it looks like the Allegiant film team has said a firm no to the word “real” (sorry Peeta). The landscape outside the wall is unrecognizable and the bureau doesn’t look at all like O’Hare airport. I’m still crossing my fingers that they surprise us with something while they’re spending time in their cool futuristic planes though.