If Divergent was a entertaining affair because of the gripping story, good performances, well done action sequences and a protagonist with whom we could connect, The Divergent Series: Insurgent takes its likeability a notch up with some spellbinding visual effects that successfully translates the dreamy and sometimes nightmarish sequences which constitutes a key part of the movie into near reality. The film in the later half dwells on a thin line between reality and surrealism and successfully comes out trumps. A film of this nature couldn’t have been made to be too serious and the sporadic spates of humor and action make it possible to keep the mood light.
The story continues from where the first film left off. The Divergents are on the run from the Erudite and take refuge with the Amity while The Dauntless who are aiding the Erudite led by Jeanine(Kate Winslet) search through Abnegation for a prized asset which has the symbol of all the factions on it. They find it and take it over to Erudite. According to Jeanine the artifact holds a message from their forefathers which she is hell bent on unlocking. Once unlocked the message could decide the future of the factions. However the box can be opened only by a Divergent. So she sends the Dauntless in search of Divergents to Amity where they come face to face with Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James) and the others.
Tris , four and the others are chased onto a train by the dauntless and once on the train the group finds alliance with the factionless thanks to a lineage with Four whose mother is the leader of the factionless. Together they decide to gather the remaining of the Dauntless and go after Jeanine and the rest of the Erudite. Jeanine on the other hand is using the Divergents to open up the box but none of the Divergents survive the onslaught of the box until she lands a catch in Tris who has the ability to sustain the trauma induced by the box and still be able to unlock it.
Like its predecessor, the film is fast paced and action packed. Whatever drama is there is kept light and sporadic keeping in mind the target audience. The film is almost in the same line as its predecessor but in the second half the film outdoes its predecessor with a flurry of some imaginatively filmed sequences which even though you are aware are not for real but only mental infestation of a character, but feel like they should never end. The beauty of the sequences, even the ghastly ones are undeniable. Take for instance the bit of action which Tris does to get through the Dauntless test of the box.
The sequence is filmed with such beauty and the visual effects are so well done that you as a viewer feel the exasperation of the characters involved. Here it would be blasphemous not to mention the 3D which adds so much more to the sequence. The Divergent Series: Insurgent is the perfect film with the perfect premise and feel to be filmed in 3D and the director uses the technology to his advantage from the word go. The action sequences and especially the surreal sequences towards the end gain heavily from the 3D elements making the overall effect of the visuals compounded.
Shailene Woodley plays Tris with comfort. He character gets a new haircut this time and it doesn’t do any harm to her likeability. Theo James is likeable and though a bit cardboardish, does his part well enough not to extract any wrong feelings. The pick of the lot however is Kate Winslet as the evil Jeanine who tries to control it all but in the end looses out to our Divergents. Her character is designed in such a way that it is bound to make an impact and Winslet being a veteran actress makes her presence felt. Naomi Watts has a shortish role which I believe in the next installments could muster up some meat owing to the manner in which the film ends. But then again I could be wrong.
Overall, because of the fantastic visuals, good story and worthy performances, The Divergent Series: Insurgent is a good watch. It should be kept in mind that these types of films are made for a specific target audience who swear by the books on which these films are based. If you are one of those or if you like films like The Hunger Games series, The Maze Runner series, Ender’s Game etc then you could certainly have a bite of this film which I feel could be satisfying enough.