Thursday, 5 January 2017

THE HOST (film) was a pleasant surprise

The Host - 2013
Director: Andrew Niccol.
Cast: Saoirse Ronan/ Max Irons/ Jake Abel/ William Hurt/ Diane Kruger.
Content Rating: PG 13 for sensuality and violence.
Source: Bought.



When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.




Having loved Meyer's novel, I was hesitant to see the film version. In fact, from the look of the back-cover, it looked like it would be bland, sloppy, and badly done.
But I was very pleasantly surprised :)


The cinematography was admittedly unoriginal, the dialogue bland and boring, and the secondary cast frequently wooden and inconsistent. 

But the acting of the main leads was definitely decent. Ronan and Irons were both a bit too wooden at times, and Abel rather inconsistent, but otherwise they were good. I particularly loved the slow-burning romance between Ronan's character and Abel's (Wanda and Ian). It was so beautiful, so gentle, so realistically done, and I thought the writers excelled at showing that.

There was a huge info dump at the start, via voice-over, which was an annoying cop-out. The start was also very shaky, and for someone who hasn't read the book, it would be totally confusing and weird. I definitely recommend reading the book first.
Even then, Melanie's voice - which was supposed to be coming from inside Wanda's head (long story) - was initially laughable, just because it sounded so silly and false. It definitely took some time for me to get past that, and then it became more acceptable.
The bursts of action were great. But unfortunately they were only bursts. Frequently, there would be great movement and action, and then it would cut-off and leave me hanging. There was action, but it was too short lived and too suddenly cut-off. It needed to fade out, needed to be properly addressed in the aftermath, before it could just end.
But don't get me wrong. About halfway through the film - despite the episodic action - it finally got exciting and enjoyable. It took me a while to get past the flaws, and they still remained, but the film definitely improved as it went along. I got swept away by the story, by Ian and Wanda's romance, by Jared and Melanie's romance, and I really enjoyed it.  It took a while for me to stop being skeptical, and then it was delightful fun. And I almost cried towards the end, so that has to count for something.  

Another negative I must mention: The lack of music and lack of movement during the first half of the film really slowed things down. I got excited, got breathless, and then the immediate aftermath destroyed all my anticipation. For example, Wanda crashed her car in the desert and it was an exciting, fast scene. BUT....when she got out the car, she stood still while Melanie lectured her. There was no movement; no action; nothing to keep the pace going. She needed to keep moving for my excitement to remain. But she stood still and talked to Melanie.
However, once she was rescued in the desert by the humans, things did improve. The action bursts were still only bursts, but the paced definitely picked up and the story got much more exciting.   
   

Lol, I feel like I've only focused on the negatives!

But seriously, the film does improve after the desert rescue, and overall it's a lot more fast-paced than the book was; which basically wasted its first half, in my opinion.  
If you've read the book, and if you like easy action and touching romance, then I recommend this film. I enjoyed it; it was fun :)   





20 comments:

  1. I totally agree :P! I found the book amazing and i think that though the movie skipped a lot of things, it was still a pretty good adaptation and i really like it! The effects were pretty cool but i Melanie's voice inside Wanda's head was overdone...it just didn't sound natural...but i LOVED the romance between Ian and Wanda :P P.S i'm still waiting for the non existent book 2 :3

    http://karinysteenbooxfrenz.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm so glad! Yeah, the movie did skip a lot, and I totally agree that Melanie's voice didn't sound natural. But OH YES I LOVED Ian and Wanda's romance! It was so beautiful <3
      Lol, that would be awesome!

      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. I need to read this book!!! The movie isn't on my watchlist, but we'll see how I feel about it after I (eventually) get to read the book. :)

    Great review!

    P.S. I love how analytical you are about movies - I pretty much just watch them. 😂

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    1. Yes you must! It's really good; much better than Twilight :)
      Thanks!

      Lol, thanks! I try ;)

      Delete
  3. I never read this book at the time as I wasn't into the story and have been wondering if the film was worth a look at some point. It looks like there is a lot of romance so I don't think I'll bother but I enjoyed your review!

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    1. Oh I see. Yeah, it's not for everybody :)
      Thanks, though!

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  4. I've been meaning to read this because the premise is so interesting. I heard a lot of mixed reviews about the movie though but seems like it wasn't that bad :) Great review Amy!

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    1. It definitely is an interesting premise, and I think you'll like the book :)
      Yeah, I thought it was decent. Thanks Uma!

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  5. I read the book and while I didn't hate it, and I didn't really like it either. I had (and have) very little interest in seeing the movie, though I remember hoping that the movie would be better than the book (which is rarely the case). :D I'm glad you liked it, Amy! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Ah, sorry to hear that :( I preferred the book, actually, but then I did enjoy the book too.
      Thanks Alyssa!

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  6. I actually really liked this movie. I found it a lot easier to follow than the book, which was a huge plus for me. But I definitely agree with you on the info dump, that was too much in too little time if you hadn't read the book.

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    1. Yay I'm so glad! Yeah, I agree, it definitely was a lot easier to follow.
      Exactly :)
      Thanks for stopping by, Emily!

      Delete
  7. I didn't read the book because the movie was kind for blah to me. I agree with everything in your review!

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    1. Sorry to hear that :( But thanks!

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  8. We've heard lots of mixed reviews about this movie, so we might give the book a try first. Lovely review! It's so cool how you actually notice these things - we either love, like, dislike or hate the movie. Great job! <3

    ~ Pendragons 

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    1. Yeah I think it's better to read the book first :) Thanks! Lol, it took a while for me to get used to doing that :) Thanks!

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  9. I have no desire to read the book, and I always read the book before watching the adaptation, so guess i'll just pass it up. *sigh* Great review, though! <3
    Prabhleen @ Booksarelife987

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    1. Ah sorry!! It isn't for everyone, I guess :)
      Thank you!

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  10. Great review! It's been a while since I watched this one, but I remember quite enjoying it, especially the Wanda-Ian relationship. I think it's time for a rewatch :)

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    1. Thank you! Oh yes, Ian and Wanda's romance was a big highlight for me too :) I love slow-burns ;)
      YAY enjoy!

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