One thing I love about a good story is when humanity is at its most vulnerable and weakest points.
“The Host” does just that.
This movie has been highly anticipated for a while because of its popularity as a book. Now, I love books with all my heart, and I think I actually owned this one at some point, but I’ve never gotten around to reading it.
I’m kind of glad about that because now I can review the film without bias toward my imagination if I’d previously known the story. I saw it as a movie, not as a movie based on a book.
In “The Host,” the planet has been taken over by an alien race. These old extraterrestrial creatures, who refer to themselves as souls, survive by physically going inside the mind of another being and essentially colonize the very bodies of humans. Their technology and medicine is far beyond that of ours.
The souls see it as caring, especially in our planet’s case. They are a species that work for all around peace and love of nature. They strive for perfection and are controlling and killing the Earth’s inhabitants with kindness.
Melanie, played by Saoirse Ronan, and her younger brother are humans who have been hiding from seekers, a group specifically sent out into the world to find those who have not been given a soul. The seekers find and take Melanie, and she is given a soul that is called Wanderer.
This is where the internal battle begins. Melanie has such a strong will that her mind does not just go away when Wanderers invade, but she fights it with strength fueled by the love of her family and, of course, a boy (Max Irons).
The external battle is between the surviving humans and the souls, mainly a seeker played by Diane Kruger. In the attempt to wipe out humanity and make the world a better place, these alien souls expose the very best and worst of what is left of it.
There is also a very carpe diem love story somewhere in there that Facebook could easily label as “it’s complicated,” but I found it to be a much less intriguing story and focal point of the whole film. It’s definitely important in the case of Melanie and Wanderer’s relationship, but it is more of an afterthought compared to everything else happening. Interestingly enough, I’m pretty sure the love story aspect is what made the book so popular, especially for those Stephenie Meyer fans who were searching for more “Twilight.”
The thing I found most appealing about the story is that I can dig into it so far and find so many great things about it; there’s no way I can throw everything into this review.
I thought the sets of the movie and the way it’s filmed were familiar and had a similar feeling to “Gattaca” (one of my favorites). Even the major colors used in different scenes for different situations (yellows and browns opposing whites and chrome) created an incredible atmosphere on the big screen. As it turns out, Andrew Niccol is in fact the director of both movies. His artistic influence is another big part of what made me love “The Host.”
I did not expect to enjoy this movie so much. Despite the mediocre acting by several good looking guys, the good acting by others out matched it. The great story, relationships within the plot, and talented filmmaking made it awesome and entertaining as ever. I give it five out of five suns, even though it may or may not have made me cry on several occasions