Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Host: Better On The Silver Screen

“This is a strange world…the strangest.”

            What can be stranger than promising that you won’t get crazy over something again yet you find yourself five days later getting cray with the exact thing you promised that you won’t get crazy over? Yes, human beings are extremely bizarre creatures.

            Rummaging through my bookshelf I finally got hold of what I was looking for. As I flickered the first few pages I was absorbed into reading it and not before long I finally gave in completely consumed by it. It took me one week at the very least to finish reading it. I read it during classes. I read it during breaks. I read it before doing my school works. I read it before going to sleep. That was the effect the book had in me and all I could articulate was, “Damn you Stephenie Meyer! You had me hooked and stoked once more.”

            A quick backdrop of the book won’t hurt. The Host which was written by Stephenie Meyer, famed author of the Twilight saga, deals with a psychological thriller/ love story past vampires and werewolves. Set in the future, earth is not the world we know now as the human race start to become occupied by “souls” who invade our bodies trying to perfect the human race. I found the book blunt with its tedious pace and story buildup. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it considering that it’s way better than Twilight.

            The movie, on the other hand, was way better than Twilight and way better than the book thanks to its director and writer Andrew Niccol. I was really surprised after watching the film with considering that I read it beforehand. The film filled the points and spots where the book did not meet. It was great to the point that you get annoyed knowing that it has no sequel. Anyway, here’s what I liked about the film.

            First, amazing screenplay. The novel uses the first person point-of-view so one can only see up to the point where the eyes of the narrator, Wanderer, reach. The film, however, made the audience see everything. From the happenings in the caves to the struggles encountered by the Seeker the film makes the audience omniscient.

            Second, interesting characters and actors. Wanderer is the invading soul and Melanie Stryder is the host. As Wanderer enters Melanie’s body she becomes conflicted between doing her duty or doing what’s right as Melanie continues to battle inside her. She also becomes entangled to pursue Jamie her younger brother and Jamie, Melanie’s lover but finds herself in a hot seat as the other humans part of the resistance continues to sort her out thinking that Melanie’s truly dead. Other characters like Ian, Jeb and the Seeker makes the complete cast. Saoirse Ronan who plays the lead role of Wanderer/ Melanie Stryder has shown how high she has grown from her previous films with her acting prowess.

            Third, astounding cinematography. The desert, the mountains and everything else falls perfectly into their places. The shots from every scene were incredible and it made the film worth-watching. Although slightly draggy, the film’s setting was impeccable that you would want to watch it over and over and over again.

            Furthermore, I still found something that could’ve made the film better. In the book, Wanderer did not easily get the sympathy from the other human beings. She experienced prejudice and fought her way to win their hearts. I simply wish the film also focused on the other characters not simply to the 4-5 main characters. I wish they could’ve exploited the different characters to build a better plot. Nonetheless, I liked the film.

            Strange as it may seem I was captivated by the film not just because it was a great novel turned into a great film but because it was deeply moving and heartwarming. It talks about a deeper sense that is beyond love. It talks of becoming humane even if humanity seems to be out of sight. It’s one of the few films that has t o be watched to be experienced. Strange? I don’t think so.

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