Investigated – The Frustrations with Nonreader Movie Critics

Posted March 17, 2014 by Emily in Investigated / 2 Comments


The Divergent movie adaption is coming out on Friday and the internet has been buzzing with reviews and speculations. While all this might be helpful to an average person deciding what movie to see on the weekend, I find all this incredibly frustrating. My big problem is that most of these articles, most of these reviewers, haven’t read Divergent. Okay, so maybe it’s a guess, but it’s an educated inference. They mess up the plot. They miss the details. Why does this matter?  Well, in my eyes, their opinion doesn’t really have much value, as harsh as that sounds. These reviewers are pent up on deciding the success of YA movie adaptions, and sometimes it seems criticizing them with scorn, but they don’t know the whole story.

The problem is, they don’t know the people, the fans, the readers, that love the book and try to support it as best as they can. They don’t know us. They are just fine with making comparisons with other book to movie adaptions as well as starting battles. “Is Divergent the next Hunger Games.” “Who will win? Katnis or Tris? “Why Divergent won’t be the next Hunger Games.” Well, I DON’T want Divergent to be the next Hunger Games. Why can’t Divergent just be Divergent? Why all the unnecessary comparisons? To them, they are trying to gauge Divergent’s success on the basis of the success of the Hunger Games. Yeah, the problem with that is everyone has different definitions of success.

To me, a successful adaption means it pleases the readers. It doesn’t matter much if it doesn’t do as well in the box office, as long as the we the readers are happy, I consider that a success. On the other hand, many movie critics measure the success on the amount of money a movie makes. But that doesn’t as much to me as it used to. Take the first Percy Jackson movie for example. Critics deem it a success because it brought in more than $226,000,000 in the box office – more than double it’s $95 million budget. However to readers, it was a disaster in so many ways. The characters were off, the story was changed. It ended up way, way, below the expectations of what the movie should be like. Yet, it made enough to warrant a sequel.

If Divergent doesn’t appeal to the general public, the only difficulty with that will be complications with making a sequel. If Divergent doesn’t appeal to the the readers, you should just forget about making a sequel. If you want to tell why Divergent won’t be as successful as some other movie adaptions, I suggest you read the book first, and then come back and tell me. I could care less whether it will make more money than the Hunger Games. All I care about is whether it will satisfy the readers.

What do you think?


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2 responses to “Investigated – The Frustrations with Nonreader Movie Critics

  1. Honestly I don’t think it should matter if someone has read the book or not when it comes to the movie especially as more often than not the movie doesn’t meet the reader’s expectations. Personally some of my favourite books to movies have been ones where I haven’t read the books. As for the reviewers of the movie, I can see why it is being compared to Hunger Games as Divergent is probably being released off the back of the success of the Hunger Games. Every new movie is usually compared to it’s predecessor and that they are both Dystopias mean nothing, as I remember The Hunger Games being compared to it’s predecessor too – Harry Potter. In a way, people comparing it to Hunger Games might help draw in viewers and maybe that’s what they’re doing – by comparing it to the last blockbuster, people who have seen Hunger Games but know nothing of this new movie, Divergent, will probably go and see it because someone said it was like The Hunger Games.

    Sorry if half of this makes no sense…

    ★ Under The Mountain ★

  2. I agree. I mean, there are definitely some things reviewers who haven’t read the book can touch on– such as the cinematography, dialogue, and even the plot as shown in the movie– but making comparisons on other adaptations or gaging success based on fans of the story are topics that should be investigated to a further extent than just “Teens love dystopians because Hunger Games.” And while I agree with Vickie that there will be a lot of people who see it because they think it’ll be like the Hunger Games, Divergent is definitely NOT the Hunger Games, and I think that will leave some people with different perceptions walking into it.