Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Host: Book vs Movie

A couple of weeks ago I received a DVD of 'The Host' in the mail. I have watched it two times since and I thought I'd better write a post about it seeing as I enjoyed it so much. I really enjoyed the book also, but never ended up reviewing it on here on account of having read it before I actually started this blog. And, I also thought I'd share some cool info I found out that I'm guessing may have possibly inspired Stephenie Meyer when she came up with the concept for 'The Host'.

I read 'The Host' after reading the 'Twilight Saga'. Yes these books are by the same author. I remember that 'The Host' was a little harder to get into, but was more enjoyable in the end. I remember thinking that 'The Host' was just so much better than 'Twilight' and as much as I did like 'Twilight' at the time I thought that books were so different and how could people compare them. Yeah sure there is a bit of kissing, a forbidden love, a romantic interest who considered murder before affection... 'The Host' is so futuristic though. There is the whole new Dystopian society, an alien species and a whole range of social issues disguised as science fiction. 'The Host' is an awful lot deeper than 'Twilight' and I can actually see how aspects of the story apply to the human world.

When I heard that 'The Host' was going to be made into a movie I was both excited and anxious at the same time. I loved the story line and wanted non-readers to be subjected to it, but I didn't want it misrepresented. How were they going to convey the idea of two people inside one body? Who was going to be cast? How gory were the "medical" scenes going to be? In most book-to-movie or book-to-show situations if the end product is at least half-decent I can usually appreciate it and the novel as separate entities. It was obvious that there were going to be some big differences (there almost always usually is with adaptations).

This movie was quite different to what I had expected. While I had argued countless times that 'The Host' was unlike 'Twilight' I was sure that the movies would have a similar feel. They were actually surprisingly different. The "dystopian" aspect of the book really stood out in the movie adaptation and there wasn't a whole lot of soundtrack music to accompany every moment  like there is in the 'Twilight' movies. There is a bit of "score" accompaniment though.

I was a little worried about how a voice over would be in this movie, but I think it was really well executed. The way it was done allowed the audience to tell the difference between the two voices and positioned us to feel sympathetic for Wanda in a way ( because of the surprise that someone was resisting the soul). I really liked the narrator's speech in the introduction even though I usually tend to find narrators in movies to be boring.  With 'The Host' this was not the case.

I cannot remember the exact details of the book as it has been a while since I re-read it, but there were a few things that I think were a little different then what I remembered. The scene where Melanie first kisses Jared isn't the same as the book. I also noticed a few quotes are missing. A bit of witty banter between Jared and Ian is removed and makes the pair seem more territorial which I didn't like. I liked the flash silver cars the seekers drove around in even though I'm not sure if they were meant to be there...

I really thought that William Hurt as Uncle Jeb was the star of this movie. He brought the humour to it that it needed. He was like Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect, there wouldn't have been much of a movie without him. I also really liked the caves in the film and the pretty (yet harsh) desert scenery. It's kind of Ironic that their hiding place is so out in the open. Diane Kruger did a pretty good job as a seeker in the film as well. You can't have a good film unless there is a convincing enemy, can you?

Overall, I really like both the Book and the Movie. I prefer the book by a fair margin, but I do appreciate the movie for what it is and the fact that I can watch it under two hours when I feel like some 'The Host' drama, rather than having to read the book for a whole week. I think the actors all did the best they could have with that script and I especially liked the ending...

The interesting thing about 'The Host' is that there are little parasites in the real world called 'Hosts' that snails eat and that travel into the snails eye stalks and control the snails mind. I think it's quite possible that this was the inspiration for the idea of 'The Host' however Stephenie Meyer was a bit smart about it and decided to call the human bodies 'Hosts' and the parasites aren't eaten by the humans, but are inserted into their necks by "healers".

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1 comment:

Jenn I said...

I read The Host in 2008 right after the Twilight books too and also loved it so much more. My dad & stepmom both really liked it too so we were pretty excited to go see the movie...and then we were so disappointed. The movie felt so boring to us! :( It was just one that didn't transfer well to the big screen, I guess. Uncle Jeb was definitely the highlight lol.