I regret spending $6 for a video compact disc copy of this movie because it didn’t do the story justice. But don’t get me wrong. I love Stephenie Meyer’s The Host and that’s the very reason why I wanted to watch the movie in the first place. But the movie all in all was lacking in every aspect that is why I wish we
just watched it online.
Anyway, to start with, the establishing shots or sequences in the movie were really weak. I thought they were swiftly put together. In the book, the invaders known as the souls were properly introduced. Their names, the life they live, and how they came to planet earth — these were all given emphasis in the book. I understand that in a movie adaptation you have to compact everything into a one or two-hour long motion picture and of course that’s not enough. But I believe that’s also not an acceptable excuse to abandon the vital variables of the story.
The screenplay wasn’t of much help either. For a non-American or a non-English viewer like me, watching it without subtitles was far too challenging. I didn’t understand almost 50% of what I watched because the actors were speaking in a very low volume. Should I have used a headset or earphones?
The cinematography, so-so. I appreciate the fact that there wasn’t much artificial lighting in the scenarios shot at hallways of the cave. Though Uncle Jeb’s face was literally black in one scene, I was totally fine with it because that’s how it will really look when you’re in a cave, no? The scene where Mel was being chased by the seekers too, I’m okay with it looking that dark (although in most suspense movies I’ve watched, they still worked the lighting out because that’s crucial).
The cast, just like the cinematography, so-so. There were scenes where I felt the characters in them, but there were also scenes where I saw that they were clearly acting. I expected so much more from Uncle Jeb, Wanderer’s Seeker, Healer Fords Deep Waters, and DOC. They were really crucial in the story, but they appeared, I don’t know if this is the right term, lame in most scenes.
The continuity was okay, it was there. But majority of the scenarios were so poorly shot that it failed to convey the thirst of the characters for survival. And since it wasn’t established well that these survivors HATED the souls for taking their loved ones from them, and their habitat (practically their lives), it didn’t manifest in the film that the people abhorred Wanda for a deep, logical, rationale, and valid reason. It only appeared that they were giving Wanda sharp glares because she’s a soul and that’s it. It lacked the emotions that were actually the core, most important element, that made the book an amazing journey to read.
As for the changes, I was pretty disappointed in them because I didn’t see the need to alter any part of the book. For example the scene where Wanda decided to find the cave that Unlce Jeb was talking about. Since Melanie was persistently bugging her in her head, that’s enough reason for Wanda to surrender and let the girl have it her way. But instead they made Mel cause an accident so Wanda will have no choice but to obey her. Hmm? Also The Seeker’s attitude, wasn’t she a pest even when the soul was already taken out of her body? Why shift it into a sweet-talk-big-hug scene? AND why was Doc rarely seen in the movie? Wasn’t he one of the reasons why Wanda came to like living among the people? Well not really “like”, but he played an important role in making the “alien” feel at ease while she’s among them. I’m also sad that Walter and Wes weren’t there. Oh right Wes was there, but barely. And the healing procedure of the souls were made into a single spray too! I thought that was one of the most brilliant parts of this fiction! Was it for convenience that they turned everything into a single silver spray?
I’m sorry if this review turned into a compilation of complaints. I just really thought the movie lacked so much. I experienced so much beauty in The Host’s universe while I was reading it that’s why I’m really disappointed that the motion picture counterpart didn’t do a good job in sharing that wonderful world to the viewers. If you thought it was nice though, I wouldn’t argue. After all we’re entitled to our own preferences.
But even though I was not pleased with the outcome, still, respects to the entire production team of the movie. I love you Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, and Jake Abel.
Anyway that’s all for now. Thank you to whoever will read this. Feel free to share your thoughts about the movie in the comment box below. Would love to discuss The Host with you!
Love and peace to you,