After her fame with the “The Twilight Saga” author Stephenie Meyers is at it again, this time with director Andrew Niccols (Gattaca), with another one of her best selling novels, “The Host.” Now the questions lingering in everyone’s mind are: will it do as well at the box office as it did in print and will it outshine its predecessor?
This film definitely has a chance to do well at the theater because fans are going to want to see the book come alive right before their eyes in addition, the movie will attract a lot of the established “Twilight” and Meyers fan base. It will do well enough that who cares if it doesn’t reach the cult following that “Twilight” did because it’s a pretty good flick.
After having a chance to catch the film myself, it was obvious that it targets as a main audience girls and young women, but does it do it successfully? Hell yes! It definitely has all the ingredients plus a little extra sazón to maybe even pick up a few extra audience members outside the targeted circles.
The movie is a romantic sci-fi that tells a story about an alien race called the Souls that have invaded Earth and transformed the planet into a safe, clean and peaceful world. In order to rule, they take over human bodies erasing their memories and using them as hosts. The Souls look like very delicate balls of light with thousands of waving antennas, once they settle into a body the person’s eye’s turn a piercing blue.
Although most of the human race has been eradicated, there are a few that still survive. Melanie Stryder, the star of the film played brilliantly by the young Saoirse Ronan, is one of the few that has lived on in hiding with her little brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and boyfriend Jared (Max Irons). The love between Melanie and Jared alone will drive all of the chicks to the theater. It’s the young, raw and crazy passionate kind most girls dream of with all of the cheesy kissing scenes you could ever imagine included – yes they kiss in the rain and yes they kiss under the moonlight.
Like every good plot there has to be a villain, this time is the Soul seeker played magnificently by Diane Kruger, who searches for and provides the human bodies. She plays a control freak determined to catch every human even if she has to harm them. Kruger does such a great job of being the bad-guy that you cannot help but to hate her guts every second, the combination of her ethereal beauty and bitchy attitude just work and she is definitely part of that something extra that may bring some male viewers to the film. In an interview with the young studs of the cast, Max Irons and Jake Abel who plays Ian, both said that one of the hottest part of the film is the gorgeous Kruger driving a chrome plated Lotus Evora (a high performance sports vehicle).
While looking for more humans the seeker and her team capture Melanie and implant her with a Soul by the name of Wanderer. Melanie refusing to fade away and give up her body fights back from within to protect and be able to once again see her loved ones.
What I loved most about the film was the beautiful scenery. The film was shot between the swamps of Louisiana and the New Mexico desert. The camera captures the cold and muggy feeling of the swamps, and the rich blue sky and warm orange tint of the sand in the desert so vividly that I felt part of the film. My whole experience was only heightened by the smooth and emotional sound track.
To me, the only let down of the film was the end. It felt very unnecessary and out of left field but because the overall movie was so great I am definitely letting that one slide.
In an interview I had with Stephenie Meyers this week, she emphasized that although this is a sci-fi film, it is a human story first. It is a story that surpasses race, gender, and age and I have to say I agree with her because there were elements of the film I identified with. Whether Meyers meant to do this or not she has very strong and kick-ass female characters playing the villain and the hero which I, as a woman and a Latina, look up to and admire. I think Ronan and Kruger are the driving force of the movie. On a side note I have to admit I also connected with all the sappiness because who doesn’t want a romance like that?!
So in the end should you spend your time and money on this film? YES! It was a really enjoyable movie experience filled with action, fear, affection, sympathy, loyalty and friendship played by cast of beautiful women and handsome gents that give themselves over to their characters.