In my recent review of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, I told you I was going to watch the movie adaptation. I thought I already watched the movie, but I was absolutely not sure. So just decided to go for it and stream it online. Well, I am now 80% sure I watched it before. Even though I’m sure that says enough, I’ll give you guys a more complete review.
The book was kind of true to the original story, though a lot was left out obviously. In my opinion, it didn’t hurt the flow of the story for the movie, but I’m prejudiced since I know the full story having read the book. I would love to hear the opinion of someone who hasn’t read the book, to see if everything was clear for them.
Anyways, a lot of cutting, but still clear in my opinion. What I didn’t like, was the interaction between Wanda and Mel. For some reason, Mel had a Southern accent in Wanda’s head. And when Wanda talked back to her, she (literally!!) turned away from everyone, towards the camera, stared straight ahead and talked (without an accent). So, you know, that was weird! It completely broke the rules of cinema, since she turned away from the other characters and even though they were still within earshot (and camera shot) she talked to herself without anyone else noticing or hearing? Weird as hell! Also, when Melanie was back in control of her body (and Wanda in her own, new body), all of a sudden, Mel’s Southern accent was gone. Continuity problems!
Then finally, Wanda’s new body? So wrong! And just weird! So there’s Saoirse Ronan, who plays Melanie / Wanda throughout the film. With the little silver circle around her eye, she looks out of this world, but still stunningly beautiful. There are scenes when she is tougher and more aggressive and embodies Melanie. Then there are scenes (like this photo) where she looks more innocent and hesitant and you can really see Wanda coming out. I love that she was able to play both girls so convincingly!
And then there is Emily Browning, who plays Wanda in the end. Now, I looked at some of her pictures, and she is gorgeous in real life. But as Wanda, she is just plain creepy! The silver circle around her eyes makes her look really alien, but not in a good way. Also she holds her face in such weird ways that she just looks wrong. I wouldn’t call her ugly, but she is completely wrong for what Wanda’s new body is described like. You are supposed to not be able to resist liking her and touching her and just coddling her. She is supposed to be little, tiny, delicate, with a blond halo of hair and she is supposed to look naive and innocent. I think this was very bad casting (not that she doesn’t act Wanda’s part very well, she just doesn’t look it!).
The new Wanda is supposed to be the complete opposite of Melanie (symbolic for the way Mel and Wanda are vitally and completely different from one another) in looks. And it’s not like Emily Browning cannot look like that. This is a picture I found from one of her other movies where (if you leave out the eye makeup) she looks a lot more like Meyer’s new Wanda than she does in the movie. Why they chose to go with another brunette, I’ll never know and it baffles me!
So in short, what did I think of the movie? Saoirse Ronan was amazing as Mel/Wanda, the way they filmed the asides between Mel and Wanda sucked, and Emily Browning does not look like the new Wanda is supposed to. Besides that, the story was too compacted (did anyone really believe the love developing between Ian and Wanda?) and they left out the entire love triangle (quadrangle?) Mel-Wanda-Jared-Ian. Even after finishing the movie, I’m still not 100% convinced if I saw it before, and I never forget things like that! So I did not like the movie (though I loved the book) but I’m used to disappointment in movie adaptations of books I really like.
What did you guys think? Has anyone seen the movie before (or without) reading the book? If so, did you understand the story at all? Let me know in the comments!