movies

My Top 10 Movies of 2016

As I write, the 2017 Oscars are just around the corner, and the batch of nominations has actually been bugging me a little bit. Not because the films that are up for awards aren’t artfully made and brilliantly performed explorations — because for the most part, I’ve found that they all are — but because of something that the awards show has well-established since its existence: the genre of “Oscar movie.”

The fact that the Academy Awards place heavy, dramatic works above lighter, more comedic projects is certainly not news, but it’s something that has irked me for years. Making a crowd erupt in laughter is just as impressive as bringing them to tears.

As you can probably tell from this intro, I strongly prefer comedies, rom-coms, dramedies… anything with some levity and humor… to working my way through a long drama. Obviously, that’s not always the case — one of my favorite movies of the year was Moonlight, which is as hard-drama as they come — but I would love to see the Academy give some love to the movies that comedy-nerds like myself were obsessed with. But that’s not going to happen, so I’ll just give them some love on my blog instead! Equally prestigious, right!?

NOTE: While I like to think I made it to the theater to see most of the big movies in 2016, there are a handful that either I’ve been told or I myself thought I may enjoy from last year that I haven’t seen yet. These include: The Witch, A Bigger Splash, Lion, Swiss Army Man, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Captain Fantastic, Loving, Fences.

_________________________________________________________________

10. La La Land
dreamy, infectious, winsome

Let’s start this list off with a bang, huh? La La Land quickly went from being the must-see movie of the year to the most controversial one after cleaning up at pretty much every awards show so far. Of course, the movie’s critical success is attributed to Hollywood’s own narcissistic self-involvement, awarding a film that literally sings the praises of old Hollywood musicals. It’s also been (rightfully) dinged for having a white man in this modern savior of jazz role — there’s a scene where Ryan Gosling is mansplaining why jazz is good to Emma Stone that really makes me cringe. But all that controversy aside, this was an ambitious and well-crafted movie that I really did enjoy, and I downloaded the soundtrack right after I left the theater. Though it’s kind of become this love-it-or-hate-it thing, it’s at the very bottom of my Top 10 because I enjoyed it, but there were a lot of other films that I loved more. And I certainly don’t think it is deserving of the best-movie-ever-made type of praise it seems to be getting from Hollywood.

9. The Lobster
outlandish, sardonic, engaging

What stood out to me as one of the year’s most unique and interesting cinematic experiences was The Lobster, a movie set in a society in which being single is not permitted. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for this kind of Orwellian, dystopian satire, so I was all-in with this movie right when the premise was set up, but I think it’s engaging enough to pull in any viewer that gives it a chance. I will say it did feel a bit like two movies smooshed together, as the first half and second half are pretty much told from different perspectives, but I actually thought that choice helped add a lot of color to the strange, alien universe of the story.

8. Hello, My Name Is Doris
goofy, cringey, heartfelt

Not a lot of traditional rom-coms came out in 2016, but we did get this little gem of a movie. Before even seeing this film, I was incredibly intrigued by the pairing of lead actress Sally Field, best known for more dramatic roles, and writer-director Michael Showalter, best known for off-the-wall comedies. The combination worked perfectly for me, as the story of an older woman falling in love with her much younger coworker blended Showalter’s humor with Field’s heart. As the delusional love story rolls along, you find yourself both laughing at Field’s hilarious characterization as well as genuinely rooting for her.

7. Zootopia
smart, radical, purposeful

Surprisingly, the most beloved animated movie of the year wasn’t the Pixar joint (sorry, Finding Dory…), but Disney’s blockbuster story about an animal city torn apart by prejudice. The trend in mainstream animation recently has moved toward not only entertaining children, but also delivering a more complex storyline with references that adults will enjoy as well, and in my eyes, Zootopia is the crowning achievement of that. Not only is the film super imaginative, colorful, and packed with jokes, but it also delivers a buddy cop, detective noir storyline that is incredibly well-crafted. Oh, and of course the whole thing is an excellently executed allegory for the racial prejudices that exist in our society.

6. Hidden Figures
energizing, fun, loving

I didn’t leave a movie theater last year feeling more invigorated than after I saw Hidden Figures. There really isn’t a more likable trio of actresses working today than Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, and each of them delivered powerhouse performances in this movie that balanced compelling emotional lows with humor and an infectious strength in the face of adversity. It is PACKED with powerful, rewarding moments where these women beat the odds and come out on top — there hasn’t been a movie in a long time that has caused me to clap and want to yell “Yes!” as many times as this one did.

5. Don’t Think Twice
original, welcoming, crushing

Just because this movie is about comedy, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s not one of the most poignantly soul-crushing movies of the past year. The cast itself is a dream come true for any comedy fan, so of course Don’t Think Twice more than delivers on laughs, but what really makes the movie so gripping is the how quickly you feel a part of this group of friends, and how fully you take on and relate to all of the tensions and insecurities that their jokes are masking. Rather than just a fun look at an improv comedy troupe, the movie instead deals with the nasty little fractures in relationships that form from one-sided success and jealousy. It surprised me as being one of the most reflective and honest movies I saw this past year.

4. Moonlight
artful, sparse, magnetic

Obviously, I’m in pretty good company putting this movie towards the top of my Best Of list, but there’s just no arguing that it was the best drama to come out of 2016. Every aspect of this movie did exactly what it was meant to do in order to draw the viewer into the complex life of a character that is so rarely given prominent screen time. What really impressed me was how effectively the movie used silence; Chiron doesn’t have many lines at all in this thing and yet you know every thought going through his mind with each tiny, nuanced expression.

3. Kubo and the Two Strings
transportive, epic, visually stunning

Despite all of my love for Zootopia, it wasn’t the animated movie that most wowed me last year. That honor belongs to this breath-takingly gorgeous ode to ancient Japanese mythology. Kubo and the Two Strings could hold its own as one of the best animated movies of the year for its beauty alone, but the reason it soars towards the top of my list is that it combines that stunning animation with a wildly original hero’s quest story that becomes both surprisingly dark and incredibly poignant. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself not wanting to leave your seat after the credits roll, just wishing yourself back into that impossibly enthralling universe.

2. Edge of Seventeen
endearing, authentic, brash

The 2016 movie I’m most definitely going to rewatching again and again in years to come is Edge of Seventeen, which boasted what I think is one of the sharpest, most hilarious, and most endearing scripts of the year. I can’t overstate how great this script (by Kelly Fremon Craig) is — it’s got the quick, colloquial, instantly quotable feel of a Diablo Cody piece. On-screen, the credit all goes to Hailee Steinfeld’s ability to draw the audience in with her quick-witted, sardonic jabs, and then twist her humor into teenage insecurities, making her empathetic but with a what’s-she-going-to-say-next edge. I’ll also say that newcomer Hayden Szeto, who plays an awkward high school student named Erwin, makes it absolutely impossible for anyone not to smile from ear to ear whenever he’s on screen.

1. Sing Street
charming, exuberant, touching

La La Land may be the 2016 movie everyone’s singing along to, but for my money, it doesn’t hold a candle to the overwhelming charm of Sing Street. Where La La Land goes all-out with sprawling, dreamy sequences (which I loved, by the way), this instantly engaging coming-of-age story delivers the same musical wow factor on the stage of a school gym. Filled to the brim with strange and lovable original characters against the inviting cobblestone backdrop of 1980s Ireland, the movie hits it out of the park in every department: comedy, drama, fantasy, music, even adventure. And if you aren’t tearing up during the final scene then you just aren’t human.

_________________________________________________________________

Shoutouts To The Other Movies I Loved That NEARLY Made My List:

Deadpool, The Nice Guys, Love and Friendship, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, Other People, Hell or High Water, Moana, Arrival

The Most Prehistoric Thing In “Jurassic World” Is The Film’s Take On Gender Roles

The much-anticipated Jurassic World was guaranteed to take a huge bite out of the box office, but the film didn’t deliver when it came to feminist portrayals. Sure, people want to see awesome dinosaurs and they want to see Chris Pratt — that and the nostalgia factor are why most people are seeing this movie anyway — but those things certainly shouldn’t have to detract from the role that the women of the movie play. This is especially true since the film’s protagonist is a woman. Although Claire may be the main character, less than one third of Jurassic World‘s credited cast who actually have character names are women, with only 4 female characters named. Let’s take a closer look at the limited ladies of Jurassic World:

The Four Females

The most disappointing part about the women in this movie for me is that they are all great actresses, but are restricted from showing the full breadth of their abilities.

Bryce

Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) — As the film’s protagonist, you would expect some depth from Claire, right? Sorry, you don’t get any. Even though Howard has delivered incredible performances in The Help and 50/50, she can’t save this character’s rigid and clichéd storyline. The first Jurassic World trailer was the scene in which Claire goes to convince Chris Pratt’s dinosaur expert Owen to take a look at her lab’s newest creation. It basically follows the formula of classic TV sitcoms that involve a woman being too up-tight for her own good who just needs a fun-loving guy to loosen her up. In fact, the trailer was called out for this “70’s era sexism” by Buffy creator Joss Whedon. Claire’s evolution from rigid, solitary businesswoman to a more human and loving character doesn’t save her either. Her character goes from being an icy bitch to a submissive wife, jumping from one outdated stereotype of women to another. What’s probably the worst of all is that she is never actually right about anything, but Owen is basically infallible! You’d think that if Claire spent all of her precious baby-making time focusing on work, that she would actually know how to run this park, but no. In every scenario when she and Owen have a difference of opinion, Owen winds up being correct. Claire is shown to come out of her shell as the story progresses, but only by following Owen’s orders and cowering behind him. On top of that, Owen gets all the jokes. Granted, Chris Pratt is a talented comedian, but Howard has proven that she can deliver jokes amazingly as well — you’d think the writers would throw her at least one little laugh.

Judy

Karen Mitchell (Judy Greer) — Speaking of missed opportunities for humor, Hollywood’s constant-costar Judy Greer plays Claire’s sobby sister Karen in the movie. The character of Karen can easily be boiled down to two words: concerned mom. Even before she sends her sons off to Jurassic World, Karen is worried and teary (although it turns out that she should be). Karen’s other two scenes in the film are a worried phone call she makes to Claire wondering how her kids are doing and then pressuring her into starting a family of her own, and then welcoming her kids back into her tear-stained arms when they finally reunite. It’s totally believable for a mom to be worried when sending her kids away to a dinosaur-filled island, so it’s not like Karen is behaving strangely, but she is probably the second most visible female character in the film, meaning she has to be focused on despite her lack of any character depth beyond weepy mom (another tired female stereotype). It really sucks that the writers didn’t give Karen more scenes or even just a few more lines in the film so that the audience could experience the awesome comedic ability that we’ve seen from Greer in Arrested DevelopmentArcher, and so much more.

Lauren

Vivian (Lauren Lapkus) — As with Greer, Lapkus was tragically underutilized as the data-spewing control room operator Vivian. Most fans might be familiar with Lapkus from her role on Orange Is the New Black, and she’s also a regular on various comedy podcasts, including her own, where she performs hilarious characters. However, you won’t get any laughs from Vivian, except for one in her final scene and the best turn of the whole movie. Throughout World, Vivian is basically the unfunny female counterpart to Jake Johnson’s punchline-machine control room operator Lowery. It does make some sense that the writers would give more jokes to Johnson, who will be more recognized as a comedian by viewers thanks to New Girl, but Lapkus is a comedic powerhouse ready to be unleashed in a mainstream role, and giving her no jokes whatsoever is a severe oversight. As I mentioned before, Vivian does have one of the best moments of the movie when she rejects Lowery, who thinks he’s about to score a kiss for staying on the dangerous island, by saying she has a boyfriend. The scene hilariously turns the whole action movie cliché of a woman rewarding a heroic man for putting himself into harm’s way on its head. In the end, though, it is still focused on a man, and Lowery blames her for not mentioning that she has a boyfriend before that moment.

Katie

Zara Young (Katie McGrath) — When I was thinking back on the movie, I actually thought there were 3 main females. I had totally forgotten about Claire’s snobby, glued-to-her-phone assistant Zara, and she wasn’t very hard to forget. Zara’s main scene is being mutilated by a Pterodactyl and then eaten by a Mosasaurus; before then, she plays a one-note assistant who we really don’t know anything about, aside from the fact that she’s British and kind of bitchy. If she was given just a little more development she could’ve been amazing, akin to Emily Blunt’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, but we barely see any of her at all until we are watching her be killed.

The Primary Female Struggle Is Work/Family Balance

So what do we take away from the women of Jurassic World? Well, the only things that we ever hear any of them talk about are their jobs or their families. I would contest that none of the female characters in Jurassic World ever go deeper than just being a simple and arcane allegory for how women should prioritize their time between work and family. Claire’s primary evolution, and what seems to be the moral of the film, is her choice to focus less on being an icy businesswoman and open herself to falling in love and having a family. We see that Vivian makes a very clear separation between her work and home life, Zara is brutally punished for only having a work life, and Karen is portrayed as a good mom, but perhaps still not successful at work as we see her taking orders from a higher-up while calling to check up on her kids. Basically, the movie boils down the female struggle to a simple dichotomy, with professional ambition at one end and family life at the other, never to intersect. Not only is this a gross oversimplification of female life, but the movie doesn’t even validate both life paths. The moral we get demonizes single working women, and basically says “get a man or your life is empty.”

Untitled

So, Let’s Talk Bechdel Test

When talking about feminism in cinema, a good jumping off point is the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test is a set of three qualifiers to determine how females are characterized in a work. To pass the test, a film must:

  • have at least two women characters;
  • who talk to each other;
  • about something other than a man.

I would argue that Jurassic World fails the Bechdel test, although it’s a bit of a gray area. The only woman in the movie who speaks to another female character is Claire, who has conversations with Karen, Vivian, and Zara. When talking to Karen and Zara, Claire speaks exclusively about her nephews. To be honest, I don’t fully recall what Claire and Vivian spoke to each other about, but I do know that they probably only said a few sentences to each other, and it was purely business related. Technically, the movie may pass the Bechdel test for a few dry, robotic sentences between Claire and Vivian about how best to take down a super-dino, but I really don’t think what the two women did in that control room even really qualifies as talking. Claire is basically barking out questions and waiting for a response, not even from Vivian specifically, as Lowery is actually almost always to the to respond. Another murky area on this topic arises when considering the sex of the dinosaurs in the movie.

Untitled

Do Dinosaurs Count?

Not all of the female characters in Jurassic World are flops, just the human ones. The Velociraptor squadron let by Owen and the powerful killing machine Indominus Rex are all female, a point that the movie makes very clear. Some observers have argued that making the badass dinosaurs female actually makes the film feminist. To those people I say: HELL NO! First of all, if you have to stretch so far to argue that the representation of a whole different species is what makes the misrepresentation of human women permissible, you really don’t have a good argument going. Even if the female dinosaurs were displayed as strong, smart, independent, and totally feminist in every way, the viewer couldn’t just ignore the bland and clichéd treatment of the human women! Secondly, we actually learn from the original Jurassic Park movies and novels that all of the dinosaurs are female in order to keep them from reproducing. So, making these dinosaurs female wasn’t really a choice for the Jurassic World writers; it was just canon.

Finally, it’s not like the dinosaurs we see are even fleshed out enough to be strong feminist representations. Sure, we learn a lot about Owen’s raptor pack, and they are incredibly strong and intelligent, but even they are relegated to following the orders of a man. In a way, the raptors represent the fervently loyal, subdued ideology that Owen molds Claire into by the end of the film — capable and savvy, but only taking action when ordered by Owen. The Indominus Rex isn’t much better. No, she doesn’t follow orders, and yes she is probably the most intelligent and strong character in the movie, but is portrayed as irrational and unwise. It’s also worth pointing out that her name is two masculine words, nominally stripping her of her femininity. These might be nitpicky points, but trying to analyze a giant lizard that we only see when she’s mauling and devouring stuff in terms of gender does not give you a lot to work with, which is another reason the dinosaurs shouldn’t be viewed in the same regard as human women in this film.

Untitled

Disgracing Dr. Sattler’s Legacy

Another major reason that the lack of feminism in Jurassic World is so disappointing is that the original Jurassic Park movie was so ahead of its time in regards to female representation. Laura Dern’s character of paleobotanist Ellie Sattler broke down gender stereotypes left and right. She was a successful academic who was enthusiastic about life, courageous, loving, and not concerned with superficiality. Interestingly, Claire and Ellie deal with a similar situation during their films, as well: how to segue their work-oriented lives into starting a family. While Claire is resistant to this and must be wooed into a relationship by Owen, Ellie retains her agency throughout her story; it’s her idea to have kids and she is trying to convince her boyfriend to go along with it. The other major female character in Jurassic Park is Lex. While fearful of dinosaurs, Lex is a confident young woman who is incredibly intelligent, which she displays in her ability as a computer hacker. In a film primarily focused on showing dinosaurs tear stuff apart, Jurassic Park showed us that audiences can enjoy a thrilling action movie that include strong, complex women, something it must have forgotten to remind its successor about. Overall, though, both movies were incredibly successful and entertaining, which raises the question…

Untitled design

Should Feminism Even Matter In Action Movies?

In the end, what does this discussion even accomplish? Despite portraying women as simply cold work robots or a hyper-loyal man-pleasers, Jurassic World was a a visually stunning, adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that excellently built on the original trilogy. And when audiences are going to see an action film, isn’t that all they really want — guns, danger, chase scenes, near-death escapes, blood, suspense, etc.? People know what they’re getting when they buy a ticket for an action movie, and an enlightened take on feminism is not something viewer would expect. So, why would an action movie even try to include a complex female character when viewers will gobble it up as long as it’s got enough explosions?

My response to that question would be: Well, why the hell wouldn’t they!? The characters and their traits in a movie will have no effect on the amount of blood, guts, and fighting you can include. An action movie can easily feature a strong, independent, smart female role just as it can feature a strong, independent, smart male role, which it so often will. Recently, another action remake has gotten attention for its surprisingly feminist reimagining, without skimping on the action. “Mad Max: Fury Road” proved something that, except for backwards men’s rights activists, fans are starving for more positive female representation in action movies. It’s something that’s been shown before in blockbusters (“The Avengers” and “Kill Bill”), cult hits (“Serenity” and “Dredd”), YA adaptations (“Divergent” and “The Hunger Games”), and various other action subgenres, but some movie-makers apparently still aren’t getting the hint.

Action films have a long history of playing on the heroic male/damsel in distress structure, so it’s become something of a default for the genre. But the world has come a long way since the first action movies were made. Some things have stayed the same — we still want to see fight scenes — but women can’t be treated like an object to be rescued anymore.

What that world not only needs, but craves, is more Ellie Sattlers and less Claire Dearings. Please?

The 4 Biggest Ways “Divergent” Diverged From The Book

DISCLAIMER: This should be pretty obvious, but this post will contain spoilers from both the movie and book “Divergent.” I will only be discussing the first book in the series, which the movie is based on.

1368631178_tris-knife-throwing

Having finished the three-book “Divergent” series just a week before the first movie was set to premiere, I had grown ravenous for a visual depiction of the factioned future Chicago that could go along with the made-up one that was taking over my mind. What was the choosing ceremony going to be like? How will Caleb be portrayed? What will Dauntless headquarters look like? These questions and more flooded my mind as I entered the theater and I prayed that what I was about to see would be an accurate portrayal of the exhilarating and emotional journey that had kept me flipping the pages of a young adult book for hours on end.

Overall, I was not disappointed. Shailene Woodley perfectly portrayed Tris’s struggle to be selfless and brave, and Theo James (although considerably older than his character) managed to embody the brooding Four to a tee. The supporting roles were mostly well-cast too, particularly the perfectly steely Kate Winslet as villainess Jeanine Matthews and Ashley Judd who seamlessly transitioned from loving mom to kick-ass soldier in seconds flat as Natalie Prior. I also loved the setting and costuming, which presented the world of the book earnestly. What the film really excelled at — and probably what most fans assumed it would excel at — was the depiction of the mind-altering simulations that confront individuals with their biggest fears in quick succession.

However, as much as I enjoyed the film, there were a number of points I noticed in the movie that were different from the book, and not in favorable ways. Of course I understand that the movie had to make cuts to make the film a reasonable length and get the PG-13 rating that would allow their target demographic to actually attend, but a few decisions still strike me as bizarre.

 

1. Peter was too likable.

Image

In the book, Peter is the scum of the earth, and the reader can’t help but despise him for the whole process. I mean, he has been tormenting Tris since the first moment he set eyes on her and plotting ways to get her kicked out of Dauntless — even going so far as to kidnap and attempt to murder her! So why the hell did they cast Miles Teller, who literally only plays the most likable characters in the universe (see: “Footloose” and “The Spectacular Now”)!? Of course, Teller brings charm and humor to Peter that is never present in the books. In the end, audiences find themselves liking Peter and even laugh along when he tells Tris to “put it back on” after she removes her jacket for the first time. In the books, Peter is only supposed to be funny to his group of violent and immoral friends as he mercilessly ridicules Tris, so why are we laughing along with him in the theaters? Maybe if the film had added the scene where Peter stabs out another initiate’s eye in order to move up the ranks we might kind of hate the lovable Miles Teller. Just maybe.

Along the lines of bizarre casting choices, why did I watch a preview for a film where Tris and her brother Caleb are making out just 5 minutes before “Divegent” began? Oh right, because someone had the brilliant idea to cast Woodley and Ansel Elgort as carefree young lovers in “The Fault in Our Stars” and also as complicated siblings in “Divergent.” Besides this little bit of creep factor, though, Elgort was great in his role.

Finally, the film also presents Eric as a bit more forgiving than book-Eric would be, I think. Let me first get out of my system how much film-Eric looked like Macklemore trying to join a biker gang. Okay good, let’s move on. In the scene where Tris finds out she has been kicked out of Dauntless but decides to hop the train and join the activities anyway — which is not in the book — Eric allows her to stay and even seems to admire her ambition. I couldn’t imagine book-Eric ever allowing her on that train if he kicked her out.

 

2. Wistina was not explicitly stated.

Image

While not really a part of the main plot, the development and fulfillment or Will and Christina’s relationship is one of the most joyful, and then later heartbreaking, arcs of the book. The film points to their relationship a bit by showing them smile at each other more and actually embrace in the corner of the screen during their final scene together, but these subtle clues are not enough to let the non-readers know they are an item. And while Tris having to shoot Will was definitely emotional in the movie, it was not nearly as traumatic as it could have been if we knew that he was not only her good friend, but also her best friend’s boyfriend.

On a similar subject, Al’s affection towards Tris was never mentioned in the film either. That layer of unrequited love made his suicide much more emotional in the book than in the move, although it was still very shocking and sad.

 

3. Jeanine and the Erudite were present during the final fight scene.

four-divergent-clip-jeanine-tris

The biggest deviation from the book is centered around the final scene. In the book, Tris must fight a brain-controlled Tobias in order to turn off the simulation, and she succeeds by ceasing to fight him and trusting him to shake the simulation off in the name of their love. Once he does, he turns off the simulation and the pair makes their escape.

In the movie, it’s no longer just Tobias and Tris in the control room. Instead, a few dozen Erudite scientists and Jeanine Matthews herself are present to run the simulation. So when Tobias gets his clear head back, they don’t have a clean getaway. Instead, Tris and Tobias massacre the scientists and use the simulation serum on Jeanine to force her to turn off the simulation. It’s pretty obvious that this new ending was invented to add some more action and give Kate Winslet some more screen-time, but it kind of intrudes on the central relationship in my opinion.

 

4. Tris’s fear of intimacy became a scene of sexual assault.

TRIGGER WARNING: This section discusses rape and sexual assault.

divergent-tris-and-tobias

This change is pretty complicated to talk about. I think most readers will agree that when they were reading through Tris’s fear landscape, they didn’t quite imagine the scene that James and Woodley acted out on the big screen. In the book, Tobias begins kissing and undressing Tris, but it is never described as aggressive or antagonistic. Rather Tris realizes she has a fear of intimacy and affection and has to tell Tobias to stop because she isn’t ready for that level of intimacy yet. However, the movie portrays this scene as Tobias attempting to rape Tris, as he forcefully pins her down and thrusts himself onto her as she screams her objections. Movie-Tris manages to stop him by fighting back physically.

On one hand, the movie version does a good job of showing a female character with agency successfully fight off unwanted sexual assault. This is an important message for many girls, who may think that they have no power or agency during a rape. Although I also want to make the explicit point that a girl (or boy for that matter) is not to blame for a rape just because she or he did not fight back — the blame falls squarely on the rapist that initiated the heinous act. With that caveat in mind, this scene did a good job of showing girls that they can and should fight back in that situation.

On the other hand, the very sudden scene can be traumatic for some viewers and is also not at all necessary. The film seems to confuse Tris’s fear of intimacy with a fear of sexual assault, which are two very different things. Rather than portray Tris as a girl who is afraid to be close to another person, the film probably decided throwing in a rape scene would be more flashy and interesting.

 

Despite the length of my criticisms, I was mostly impressed with the film adaptation and look forward to the sequels.