The teenage years were the most confusing years for me. Finding out who you are within the social schema is difficult as it is, but what happens when you have two minds in you head and one of you inside was actually an alien?
This is the fate of the heroine in The Host, who has been in two minds about her life, her boyfriend and her sense of identity because of the two conflicting souls inside her. Step into the world of a confusing yet entertaining world of Stephanie Meyer's The Host.
Admittedly, I'm not a fan of any films or books from Meyer's authorship. Anymore monotone voiceovers or misunderstood other-worldly creatures could've been the death of me. But despite the apprehension, I did enjoy watching fluorescent amoeba aliens entering their human 'host' and transforming them into submissive, well-mannered and honest beings, injecting much of the needed humanity in our 'cruel' world. Funny, isn't it? Us humans needing another worldly intervention to regain humanity? Maybe Meyer does have a point.
So consequently, when the soul-binding process is complete, a bright blue light would emit from our eyes. And so does the colours of the world. When these alien took over, they restructured everything to be chromatically white, blue and silver, geometric and streamlined. Very orderly looking. But what happens when a human soul resisted? To the aliens, this is danger. But to the humankind, this is hope.
Let me introduce you to Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) of the bayou and her alien soul, Wanderer. In the early moments of the film, Melanie is on the run, in order to protect her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) from the 'Seekers', attempted suicide. However, she was unsuccessful and thus was implanted with Wanderer, whose duty was to search Melanie's memory to find evidence of the human resistance. But she resisted, and that Wanderer later realised that Melanie was still alive and kicking inside, struggling to gain control of the body.
Despite being a thousand years old, this alien seemed to listen and gave in a lot to a human teenager's whining in her head telepathically, which then she responded back in spoken dialogue. The communication between these two minds was really confusing because the identities of Wanderer and Melanie were not as distinctive as I would like. And you would think that their values and moral compasses would've been quite different, obviously, because one's an alien. As if the notion of a teenager isn't confusing enough.
Regardless, Melanie was too resistant, for the liking of alpha 'Seeker' (Diane Kruger). So Melanie convinced Wanderer to escape, with some force to find the human resistance, after Kruger's 'Seeker' proposes to replace Wanderer in Melanie's body.
This isn't Andrew Niccol's first undertaking of a dystopia futuristic project. In fact, this film is quite reflective of his 1997 film Gattaca. Despite the quite unbelievability of this film, Niccol's made this film very visually thematic, and that makes it quite enjoyable. With the shiny surface of the alien world juxtaposing the rugged earthy human camp, I could buy into Melanie/Wanderer's journey to find her brother, her boyfriend (Max Irons) and uncle (William Hurt). Just a little.
Here's where the film got a little Twilight-y. And I reckon this would've been a more heart-tugging film without the cringe-worthy, improbability of a love square. How Twilight-y? Well, this involves sexual awakening of an old alien amoeba now known as Wanda, a Bayou teenager, the teenager's boyfriend, and an alien's new love interest. And a lot of kissing, which somehow defines a relationship. No wonder that one teenage girl's body has two minds about, well, everything.
It's an age old issue of teenager's identity struggle, and the audience can relate that to Meyer's The Host. But I'm still in two minds about having to need aliens to make us realise that we can be human after all. What do you think of it?