In recent years there have been many adaptations from book to films which have successfully navigated the page-to-script-to-screen incongruities with a decent attempt to keep the essence of the original novel intact.
Being one of those who has read the Divergent novels, I left the film Allegiant with a genuine sense of irony. The third film in the Divergent series does in fact diverge so radically from the original novel that I honestly felt several times as though I’d walked into a fan-fiction based on Divergent (to be frank, my guess is many of the creative young minds who write fan-fiction based on the series, would have created a less ‘divergent’ story line, even by AU standards.)
There were aspects of the story which were kept intact, but this reviewer can’t recall there being any moment in the novel Allegiant where it felt as if the group had landed on Mars. Yes, the radiation damage was intended to be severe, but Veronica Roth managed to imbue the novels with some tendrils of hope, in showing that Earth was trying to make a comeback. There was no hint of that in these stories and it felt like a pall over the whole story, as if to say there’s no way this will end well.
I was pleased to find the story of Caleb’s trial, and the later stalking of the poor rebels living in the fringe remained, though the technology used by the teams was different than in the novels, I didn’t find them to be detrimentally detracting – in fact I enjoyed it.
I should admit that I went into the film with low expectations; I wasn’t as fond of the last novel in the series as its predecessors, so I wasn’t expecting the film to make me feel different.
I wish I could say I had hope for the final film Ascendant being a great final effort, but the poor returns of the 3rd film’s release will mean stricter budgeting for the fourth. It’s a shame they didn’t film the last two in tandem as so many series’ in the genre have before them. Had they done so, they wouldn’t be faced with the Herculean task of making a better film at a lower cost.
Still, if wishes were kisses, I’ll stay puckered up and hope the Ascendant team delivers a goodnight kiss that will make me swoon with satisfaction.