In a dystopian alternate future, Chicago is divided into five different factions, based on personality traits; Abnegation for the selfless, Amity the peaceful, Candor the honest, Dauntless the brave, and Erudite the intelligent. When you choose a faction at 16, you’re stuck with it for life – unless you’re kicked out, and you become “factionless”, a fate worse than death. Problem for Beatrice is that she fits into several different factions. (She chooses Dauntless; cue lots of charging about, whooping.) But problem is, Kate Winslet (yes, her) is engineering a coup, and the Dauntless crew is the blunt instrument with which she’ll achieve it….
I quite liked the film. Some. Not a lot. Frankly, it’s a little slow – obviously setting up for the next 3 (?) movies in the series – but it lights up whenever Shailene Woodley is on screen. She’s lovely. The action scenes are well choreographed, and the movie ups in momentum when the Dauntless crowd are on scene. I liked the Chicago locations too; one of the most striking is auditorium at 17th Church of Christ, Scientist where the families line up for the “choosing ceremony”.