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ATYPICAL: After a neurological test, Tris (Shailene Woodley, right) is told by the administrator that she does not fit into any single category and is therefore “divergent.” Â© 2014 SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Undaunted

Divergent is every adolescent’s dilemma magnified. Will Bea­trice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Wood­ley) model her life on that of her parents or risk everything and strike out on her own? The core questions in this film are conventional: Who am I and where do I belong in the world? Yet Tris’s dilemma is universal, and Divergent illuminates an age-old question in a new setting.

The film is set in postapocalyptic Chicago in a society with the motto “faction before blood.” Each young person must make a public commitment to one of five factions that structure the society’s social life: Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Amity, and Candor. Once made, the decision is irrevocable and determines the course of one’s life. Before they choose their factions, young people are given a neurological test that shows which faction best suits them.

 

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