Review: The Host (film)

Caution: Spoilers ahead!

the host book

 

I read the book The Host two or three years ago, after my friend recommended it. The book was written by Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight series,  though I hate to associate it with all the negativity around that series.

The beginning of The Host was really slow. I remember reading it and wanting to just give up a third of my way in because I felt like nothing too exciting was happening.  Halfway through, things picked up very quickly and soon, I was sucked in. I could not put the book down and from what I can recall, I later finished it all in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down.

Needless to say, when I heard the movie was being released, I was very excited… but also nervous and scared that they would ruin it like they did to the Twilight series.  The book was so much more than just a couple in love, separated, and having to find their way back to each other… it was about accepting, forgiving and understanding beyond what we know and see with our naked eyes.  I hoped it won’t become a silly teen sensation with fangirls buying blue contacts lenses to mimic the Souls and swooning over the boys Ian and Jared.

the host

The movie was released on March 29, 2013 and I got to see the movie the same weekend. Beware of some spoilers ahead! 

Things I liked:
– The movie stayed true to the book. I am immensely relieved that they had not altered too many aspects of the book. Although the movie itself will likely be known as a sappy, cheesy movie, I am happy the movie was portrayed as the original story and not overdone just to attract viewers!
– The cave. I absolutely loved how it was designed and shown in the movie… it was very similar as how I had imagined it in the book. Even the bathroom! I can’t believe they were actually able to reconstruct the flowing river through the cave. The mirror roof was actually CGI but it definitely did not take away from the feel of the cave itself.
– Jeb Stryder. He was exactly as I had imagined him to be, wise yet a little crazy at the same time. William Hurt did a great job in playing the role.
– My favourite scene of the movie was when Melanie enters the hospital to see the dead bodies of the humans and souls on the tables, and screamed in pure shock and horror. In that moment, Saoirse Ronan does an amazing job in showing the true pain that Wanderer felt in losing her family members.

Things I didn’t like:
– The actors and actresses who played the characters Melanie, Ian, and Jared. Saoirse Ronan just didn’t seem strong enough to play Melanie, nor gentle enough to play Wanderer. I didn’t really feel Melanie fit together with either of the boys… neither couple seemed like a good match.
– The Souls were not portrayed in the right way. In the book, they are depicted as kind souls who are completely incapable of negative feelings, such as anger, guilt, suspicion, etc., yet the movie did not show this to the audience. Without this knowledge, it’s hard to completely understand the Souls and their importance to the story.
– The movie didn’t have too much depth and way too many cheesy lines. If I hadn’t read the book prior to the movie, it would seem like a shallow, silly love story but in truth, there’s so much more that meets the eye.
– This one is purely my own opinion… but I just didn’t think the Seeker was annoying enough! Sure, there were many scenes of her stubbornly trying to hunt them down but her annoyance wasn’t directed to Melanie herself.

All in all, it wasn’t too great of a movie, but I still think the book was amazing. If anything, if you are planning to watch the movie in the future, read the book first! You will enjoy and appreciate aspects of the movie much more =)

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