When you see Insurgent in theaters next Friday, it’s best to go into the movie forgetting what happened in the book.
The majority of the film is disappointingly dissimilar to the Insurgent book by Veronica Roth, Hypable concluded after seeing the film last Friday and comparing numerous aspects. In fact, some of the changes are so severe that you’ll be left scratching your head when you walk out of the movie. “Did this happen in the book?” you’ll ask your friend. “Did that happen in the book? Did THAT happen in the book?”
“No, they didn’t,” your friend will tell you, “and I have no clue how they’re going to handle this in Allegiant, Part 1.”
We’ve split this feature into two parts. On page 1 (this page) we do not spoil the changes, but on page 2 we openly discuss some of the big adjustments.
When Roth wrote a post on her blog a couple weeks ago about changes between the book and film, we suspected that it was to brace people for big changes. It turns out we were right.
The Insurgent movie is full of great action sequences, memorable character-driven moments, and gets across the general theme of the book. The story in a nutshell: Jeanine is eager to find out what’s in a certain message from a former leader, and the antagonist hates all Divergent because they threaten the faction system. Tris, the chosen one, and Four, the muscular one, need to stop her from causing mayhem.
But the differences between the book and film are so large in some areas that I wonder who this film is for. If it’s for the fans, they’re going to be let down to some extent because it’s largely unrecognizable from the source material. Again, no spoilers on this page, but I was so surprised by how big the changes were by the end that I felt slightly disrespected as a reader.
‘So much damn plot’
Speaking at the Insurgent junket on Friday, producer Lucy Fisher and Roth admitted that it would’ve been impossible to create a perfect adaptation.
“She wrote very, very rich books with so much detail and so many characters and so much damn plot,” said Fisher, essentially admitting that the book was too much to handle.
“Yeah,” Roth said in response, “it’s a little too much plot in the book Insurgent to cram into a movie, and a movie would’ve suffered from an exact replica of it. It would’ve had to be a 12-hour miniseries, which clearly is not in the cards.”
Indeed, many aspects of the book have been removed, and in their place are at least 40 minutes of scenes depicting Jeanine working to open the mystery box.
Said Roth at the junket, “I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything that big.”
But in our opinion, there were some big losses.