Monday, April 22, 2013
I scheduled this to post yesterday, and have no idea what I did wrong. I was driving from Dallas yesterday, so I knew I wouldn't have time to post. Sorry about the delay...
A couple weekends ago I went to see The Host with my bookie bestie, Jessa, while she was in town from Dallas. We both had read the book years ago and neither of us bothered to refresh our memories before going to see the movie.
In some ways I think not having the book fresh in your mind is a wonderful way to enjoy an adaptation like this. It can be a rediscovery of sorts, and even better, changes made to the book hurt less when you can't really remember if what you just saw was a change or not.
Going in, each of us remembered different aspects of the book and neither of us really remembered more than the general outlines of the story. There was frequent whispering throughout as different scenes jogged different memories for each of us. It was fun to share the experience that way, although if the theater had been a bit less sparse, we'd probably have been shushed a lot.
It's interesting because Jessa tends more towards Romance type novels than I do (although i love me a good romance) and I tend more towards U/F and SciFi than she does (although she loves her some good fantasy). Before the movie when we were sharing our recollections of the book, based on what we had seen in the trailer, she thought it looked like they had played up the romance more than she remembered and i thought it was pretty much on track.
Her recollection was that the book centered more on Melanie's internal fight to throw off the "Soul" and the external "war" to liberate the human race. My recollection was that it was essentially a story about Melanie's strong desire to reconnect with her lost love. I've heard a lot of people say that they felt the romance angle was played up, but to me it didn't feel that way.
On the whole, I liked the book, but it wasn't the second coming or anything. It was a solid three stars for me, fairly mediocre SciFi, but it was written far better than the Twilight Series was (which although not really comparable to the Host, I did actually enjoy more despite the problematic writing). I'm pretty sure Jessa gave the book three stars as well. Good, but nothing to write home about.
As far as the movie itself goes. I really enjoyed it. Some of the acting was below par, but that's true of all of the Twilight movies as well. I'm not going to say I liked the movie better than the book, but I do think the movie got a boost from my foggy memory of the written work and low expectations. Jessa didn't like it as much as I did, but she didn't hate the movie. All in all, I think it was a fairly successful and faithful adaptation.
So, have you seen it? What did you think?
Trailer available at: