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Later on in the narrative, there’s another serum that’s pivotal to the latter half of the dauntless initiation process, the fear landscapes. Burger explained, “[Tris’] first half of training is physical, fighting and shooting, all that and the knife throwing. And then the second half of training is psychological, having to face your worst fears.” Burger noted that while those fears are very specific in the book, in his film, they expand them. “They’re very contained in the book and we kind of set them out – some of them – in the real world, or in sort of a bizarre real world. We put her outside the fence in certain places.”
2. KNIFE TRAINING
Inside the Dauntless compound, Eric (Jai Courtney) leads the initiates in knife-throwing training. Christina (Zoe Kravitz) points out that Tris is “kind of good at this.” Al (Christian Madsen), on the other hand, is having a tough time and Eric notices. Eric insists that Al retrieve his knives even though the other initiates are still throwing. Eric sees Al hesitate and asks, “Are you afraid?” Al bluntly replies, “Of getting stabbed by an airborne knife? Yeah.” Eric doesn’t appreciate his honesty and insists that Al stand in front of the target while Four (Theo James) gets set to hurl knives at him.
But Tris steps in and tells Eric, “Anyone can stand in front of a target. It doesn’t prove anything.” That only enrages Eric further and he insists that Tris take Al’s spot. She gamely takes position and Four throws, his knives landing closer and closer until one nicks her ear, drawing blood. At that, Eric declares, “Points for bravery, Stiff. Not as many as you just lost for opening your mouth.” He ends the practice session leaving just Tris and Four behind. Four admits that he meant to cut her because Eric wouldn’t have let her off without a scratch. He points out, “You’d still be standing there if I hadn’t hit you,” to which Tris replies, “Am I supposed to thank you?” Says Four, “If I wanted to hurt you, I would have.”
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