This is a more irregular feature. Flashback Friday is where I review, or possibly discuss, an old TV show, movie, book, or album. So what's considered old? Anything that was not released within the past year and a half. By years, I mean calendar year (so for this year, June 2013-December 2014 would NOT be old).
"I enjoyed the movie to some extent, but it definitely could have been better."
I had heard great things about this movie, as well as the book. I didn't want to go see it in theaters when it came out because I wanted to read the novel first. Then, February break/President's Week came, and I finally borrowed the DVD from the library, resigned to the fact that it'll be quite some time before I read The Host.
Anyway! I enjoyed the movie to some extent, but it definitely could have been better. The premise is really interesting, and I think it's much more interesting than The Twilight Saga.
My first major issue with it was the MAJOR insta-love between both Wanda and Ian AND Mel and Jared. I can almost understand Mel and Jared because of the circumstances under which they're living, but at the same time, I felt no real connection between the two of them more than the feeling that they need one another to survive and keep one another alive. With Wanda and Ian, it was like Ian all of a sudden went from wanting to kill her to being in love with her...I don't get it. What prompted this change? I would have liked the relationship to have been explored more before getting to that point.
I did like the struggle between Melanie and Wanda though, including in relation to liking different boys. It reminded me of Kat Zhang's Hybrid Chronicles Series. There's the argument between the two characters that others don't know about. Then when Melanie "disappeared" I just made even more connections to the Hybrid Chronicles. But I know they're not related and that What's Left of Me was published after The Host. This also made for some incredibly awkward scenes. While I KNOW they were meant to be awkward, at times, I felt like I couldn't watch scenes between Wanderer (Wanda) and Ian and Wanda and Jared. But I think the struggles were well portrayed.
I liked many of the characters in this movie, and I thought they were interesting. However, I would have liked for them to be explored more in depth. I felt that even with Melanie, we didn't actually learn that much about her. What was her life like before the creatures took over? What did she like to do? I had a similar issue with the various relationships explored in the movie. Some were better developed but there were many that I would have loved to learn more about, ranging from Melanie's relationship with her brother, Melanie's relationship with her uncle, Wanderer's relationship with Mel's uncle, and Jared's relationship with Melanie's brother. Overall, I think the characters were fairly interesting, but I felt as if they were flat at times.
[SLIGHTLY SPOILER-Y. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK] I liked how the movie explored how characters changed, from Melanie to Ian to Wanderer to the Seeker. While a bit unrealistic and a little too "perfect," I liked seeing what was really going on to the Seeker. It was an interesting reveal, and the ending, while again, too clean and perfect, I quite liked. I liked how it was giving the Seeker's host a second chance. I also wasn't a big fan of Emily Browning playing Wanda at the end. I felt like one of the main lessons in the movie, through Ian's character arc and growth, was that it's not about your appearance that matters. It's about who you are and what you believe in and will fight for. So why did they have to choose an actress that looks so much like Saoirse Ronan? Ian would still love her if she looked completely, right? Well...we don't know for sure, I think. [END SPOILERS]
There were some small details that didn't make complete sense to me, but they didn't hinder most of the important aspects of the film. One example would be: why would they need to put up the mirrors when they're harvesting? If you're harvesting, you don't need to give the plants constant sunlight anymore.
Overall, I really enjoyed the acting. I find Saoirse Ronan to be a fantastic actress, and she shines in this movie. I also really liked William Hurt's character, and I found his acting to be really compelling. The guys were pretty great, though there were some times when I would mix some of them up, but overall, I think they did a pretty good job. Diane Kruger's performance as the Seeker really intrigued me, and the ending blew me away (not the VERY end, but the end-ish, when we learn something big about the Seeker and her host).
Lastly, I just have to include this, but there's a deleted scene about the line "Who would I die for?" I think they should have included this in the movie for various reasons. It was a really pivotal scene, and it was extremely candid. I think that the inclusion of this scene would have made the ending even more powerful, and it would have made a little more sense. It would have allowed the movie to come full circle. But even without it, I think that the end scene regarding that question was very well executed and very emotional
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Written by: Andrew Niccol, based on The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Diane Kruger, Chandler Canterbury, William Hurt, and more
Release Date: March 29th, 2013