The Host (2013)

I think i have established a reputation among my friends as that one girl who thinks the entire Twilight franchise was a joke, i am pretty sure i was almost thrown out of the sequel screening at a theatre for literally LOL-ing and trolling, and really i have given this franchise a chance because i watched at least 3 out of 5 movie out there. Mostly ended up with me falling asleep or making (probably inappropriate) comments during the screening. I’m almost ready to sworn off anything adapted from Stephanie Meyer, but when The Host came out my friend convince me otherwise, so i give it a chance, it’s not like Saoirse Ronan as a lead can disappoint all that much right? RIGHT?

This one contains spoilers, proceed at your own risks.

The earth is invaded by a colony of Alien, where human bodies become a host of their ‘soul’. Amongst the few survivor out there was Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), who were cornered by a group of seeker who tried to capture her, seeing no other way to survive Melanie attempted a suicide by jumping off a building. When her body was recovered and brought to the healer, Melanie is deemed to be alive, and then her body become a host of a soul called Wanderer. When Wanderer awake in Melanie’s body, it realized that instead of taking over, both Wanderer and Melanie’s soul co-habitate Melanie’s body, so instead just memories, Wanderer was forced to reconcile with emotions and feelings of Melanie.

Melanie’s ultimate goal was to protect the people she loves, that includes her baby brother Jamie and her boyfriend Jared Howe (Max Irons). Wanderer empathize and against it usual habits and norms, it set out to help Melanie reunite with her loved ones one more time. So Wanderer ran from her Alien colony to find the human colony where Melanie’s headed to, only to be chased by The Seeker (Diana Kruger). Wanderer finally arrived to the human colony, who survive and built a new life inside an extinct volcano in New Mexico dessert, only to be prejudiced by Melanie’s Aunt Maggie (Frances Fisher) and almost got killed by Kyle O’Shea (Boyd Holbrook). By the mercy of Melanie’s uncle Jeb (William Hurt) and compassion from another heart throb Ian O’Shea (Jake Abel). Wanderer learns to live among human, but sometimes, things just does not work out so simply, where Wanderer finally learn the bitter truth of co-existing between human and alien life form.

Okay i found the concept of the Alien invasion is pretty cool, from the very little potrayal i can see how they are driven by honesty and how most of them (not counting the Kruger Seeker) is actually life as pacifist. This concept of alien is quite mind-boggling for me, i guess i grew up by watching how alien life forms usually are hostile and its ultimate goal is to destroy the human and invade earth in general. So when this significant Alien in The Host only come to earth to co-exist in a human body just to be misunderstood by Men who tried so hard to avoid it so far that it drive them to resort to violence and to some extends to suicides, i wonder how can such a huge misunderstanding occur? Does the Alien just take over without any preamble? or are the men just so afraid of differences and foreign things that we just assume violence is the only way and disregarding negotiations and communication altogether? I wish the movie could highlight more on that.

The human that already hosted aliens are signified by a white  or light blue-ish ring of light in the iris surrounding the pupil area of their eyes. They dress almost normally (although looking slightly dapper and clean with bad choice of shoes) save for the guards that is called the Seeker, who wear white suits and grey taupe shoes (still bad though) and drives metallic silver vehicles in any form (silver cars and motorcycles, silver air-borne helicopters, i expect to see a large silver yachts too but they don’t do anything on the water as the movie goes) . The way they live is a wonder, they don’t mind when a person take over their car by honesty (they basically dont tell lies), and they can take food from a Store for free, they got medical attention for free as well! Oh what kind of government and political system do these alien have? Is how the extreme pacifist do their things?  I’d like to give a piece of my mind to whoever responsible for the wardrobe for these poor Alien Seekers for the piss-poor option of fabrics and design. Because when things look bad on Diane Kruger it means something is terribly wrong with the designs.

The human colony is another interesting thing. When they survive daily by living inside an extinct volcano by planting wheat inside somekind of cavernous area with the help of sunlight reflected by mirrored contraption on the mouth of a volcano. I dont even want to think about the physics and biology of the whole thing. But these things are enough to make me think how the concept capture my attention better than the whole Twilight series.

Sadly, my intrest stop at that. The movie is as generic and mediocre as one could expect from any high buzz typical Young Adult movie adaptations, it falls in an area nearest to Twilight and Percy Jackson than to Hunger Games. You can expect the following though if you are a fan of Meyer’s page to screen movies:

  • Two male heartthrobs
  • Triangle love
  • (Relatively) sexually aggressive female lead
  • Cheesy hyperbole that was supposed to be romantic poetic line
  • Random make-outs with weird reasons to

Although Saoirse Ronan is definitely better lead than K.Stew, sue me!

The whole production just like the wardrobe seems a little half bake for me, i personally thought this will be better received as a TV movie or direct-to-DVDs, i wonder if its a matter of budget (of $40 million). Of course my biggest disappointment is aimed for the Director and Screen Writer Andrew Nicoll, who started out brilliantly with 1997 Gattaca (aslo as director and writer). And i was hoping after 2011 In Time which was such an almost good movie with a potential of greatness, i am heavily disappointed with his attempt on The Host. The thing with adapted screenplay is you can have the original material just as a base of your work and you can shape it into a greater thing in movies (just look at Silver Linings Playbook). In this movie i can not tell if there’s a sense of built up drama and climax in the stories. The storyline give this atmosphere of vagueness, not in a good way, but in a confusing, what-the-hell-should-i-feel-about-this kinda feeling. Such a shameful mediocrity.

PS: To be very honest, the highlight of the movie was when Wanderer woke up in another body, after it got transplanted, and that body was Emily Browning’s! Oh if she did took the offer as Bella, i’d probably enjoy Twilight franchise a bit more and not too bitter about it.

PSS: This was in my draft limbo for about two weeks! i kept thinking i shouldn’t have bothered finishing and publishing it in the end.

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