Divergent is the 2014 film adaptation of the first novel in Veronica Roth’s best-selling book series. The film is set up in a post-war dystopian society that has been divided into five factions. Everyone takes a test to decipher “who they are” and in which faction they belong to. The genre is easily understood from this trailer as an action-adventure film. The scenes of fights, throwing knives at each other, and guns are big statements of the genre. I believe that is trailer did a great job in gaining viewer’s attention. A mix between action, suspense and a little bit of romance is a great combination to attract people to go see the film.
One way that Divergent employs ethos is the actors used in the film. It seems as if this film is more aimed at the young adult audience. Many people, maybe more females, in this age group would probably recognize the protagonist Tris, who is played by Shailene Woodley. She is known for the popular television show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and movies like “The Spectacular Now” as well as the highly anticipated “The Fault in Our Stars” which came out soon after Divergent. Kate Winslet also was a major star cast in this film. The use of Winslet in the trailer was significant because she is a well-known and respected actress. The movie producers want the viewers to think if she chose to act in this film, it must be good. Individuals can establish ethos by observing people, like actors. If an actor has a good reputation in their everyday life as well as in their past acting jobs viewers are more inclined to pay attention and trust them (Lunsford 56). Another way this film utilizes ethos is how they had a screen that read, “Based on the Worldwide Besteller”. The producers put this in the trailer to establish credibility. If the book was good enough to be made into a film, it had to have had a good storyline.
Viewers of this trailer will respond well because of the wide range of emotions it brings on. The scenes of Tris being trapped in the glass box, being beat up, and jumping from the top of a building instills fear and thrill. These scenes are meant to evoke emotions so that the viewers sympathize and connect with the characters in the film. The viewers may also feel bad that Tris doesn’t belong to one particular faction. Perhaps they can relate if they feel like they don’t fit in in their own society. The color used in the trailer also contributed to the emotions. Dark shades created an ominous setting that was suspenseful. Although it was a subconscious element, it does have an emotional appeal (Giannetti 22).
Logical appeals were also used in the trailer. There are also several scenes that deal with romance Tris and Four, the lead male actor of Divergent. Scenes where Tris is holding close to, touching and kissing Four brings sex appeal to this film. The producers may have included these scenes to attract a different type of audience that wouldn’t normally go for an action adventure film. A logic that is seen in the plot is that a single test should tell you your place in society for the rest of your life. Although this logic is not realistic, it fits in with the theme of this dystopian society.
I would give this film four out of five pickles. Overall, the trailer did a great job of establishing credibility and appealing to a wide range of audiences with its many emotions. The only area I would have improved was its’ logic. I think this trailer definitely pulled viewers attention and will make them want to go check it out!