The Host, movie  » Movies  »
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  • It is important to stop now and note the fact that the aliens (or Souls, however you’d like to call them – it gets rather confusing when you have to consider that, wait, humans have souls, too, so what about those
  • It is difficult to find a reliable audience to whom I could recommend this movie
  • In fact, the root issue is neither Niccol’s direction nor Ronan’s acting, they do what they can with the limited material they have at hand
  • But to avoid such a structural mess, probably someone should just say no to adapting any more of Stephenie Meyer’s works

    • by Vlad F. Dumea
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      Whoever thought having the protagonist of a movie spend most of her time talking inside her own head for the better part of 2 hours and get away with it, was painstakingly wrong.

      In The Host, another Stephenie Meyer adaptation for the big screen, we start out with Saoirse Ronan reenacting of her role in Hanna, trying to battle her way out of a dangerous situation and getting herself hurt in the process. Oh, it’s not the same character? Well, we get to see that soon enough.

      Ronan plays Melanie Stryder, a girl who, along with her brother, survived an alien body invasion on Earth that is more attuned to the PG-13 audience of today than was The Invasion of the Body Snatchers in its second incarnation. Melanie is captured and is implanted with a Soul, Wanderer, who uses Melanie’s memories to weed out the location of


      the last surviving humans. She is doing this for Seeker, an alien version of an FBI toughie (maybe that’s why they wear white).

      It is important to stop now and note the fact that the aliens (or Souls, however you’d like to call them – it gets rather confusing when you have to consider that, wait, humans have souls, too, so what about those?) do not consider their actions as conquest, but rather trying to live out the lives humans should have lived had they not been so…well, human. We are told that for them, we are very unusual, with strong urges. I suppose that life throughout the universe is rather bland, then; Carl Sagan would be so very disappointed.

      However, Melanie is no ordinary girl and Wanderer finds out soon enough that she’ll have to contend with voices in her head for the remainder of our agonizing hours. Convinced to go and seek out the remaining humans, she escapes her semi-confinement (which is brought on when it’s discovered that Melanie’s consciousness did no pass away) quite early in the movie, and leaves us trying to tie up a plot always too busy to get to the next scene.

      How peculiar are the female protagonists in Meyer’s fictional universes. If Bella in Twilight was a model for young women that they should do anything for a guy, as long as he doesn’t give in to sex, Wanderer/Melanie is representing that it’s okay to be have bipolar interests in guys, as long as, in part, you stay consistent.

      Unlike Kristen Stewart, Saoirse Ronan can act and quite well. However, her taking roles in novel adaptations should be done with a bit more weigh in, because her choices seem to be quite hit (Atonement) and miss ...


      • The Host, movie
      (The Lovely Bones). To be fair, it is not Ronan’s fault that her character is so uninteresting and, more to the point, seems so unreal you couldn’t relate to it. Rather, it is the fault of the plot, the narrative that, with two exceptions, is so in a hurry to get nowhere that almost no meaningful contact between two people is every established, because the conversations hardly last more than 30 seconds of screen time. Except those that go on inside her head. I’m not sure those should count.

      Because of the disjunction of the scenes and their hurriedness, it cannot allow itself to shape believable secondary characters, so the actors only inhabit shells of genre clichés: the firm, but wise patriarch; the conflicted lover; the obsessed officer of the law; the young-and-seemingly-naïve younger brother who turns out to be a plot device…twice.

      It is difficult to

      find a reliable audience to whom I could recommend this movie. It poses as insightful science-fiction and, directed by Andrew Niccol (father of Gattaca, the Truman Show) one could be fooled on this premise, if one forgot his most recent slip-up, also in the sci-fi genre, In Time. It also presents a love triangle (sort of), but the characters never seem to grow beyond their outlines and the romance is more insipid that the passionate-teenage one it’s trying to portray.

      In fact, the root issue is neither Niccol’s direction nor Ronan’s acting, they do what they can with the limited material they have at hand. But to avoid such a structural mess, probably someone should just say no to adapting any more of Stephenie Meyer’s works. Maybe then, we could have profound science fiction with a deeply human story and coherent plot we can care about.




0
Andrew Leaither says :

“The Host” I thought was a weird and yet strange, interesting movie. For someone to speak in their head for nearly two hours made the movie dull. I couldn’t watch the movie all at once but in three pieces. I still thought it was a good watch, but if I had to choose this movie over another movie, I’d choose the other one I may not even know. Yet it still had some interesting aspects to the film and characters, nothing dynamic.

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