Click here to read my initial thoughts on The Host.
My blog background seems to have disappeared, leaving behind the forest image that was beneath it--the weird thing is that the link to the website where I got the background is still up there in the corner. Will it come back on its own, then? I can't seem to figure out what went wrong, or how to put up a new background. I feel at such a loss.
Anyway, guess what movie I went to see again yesterday? The Host, that's right. (And I'm probably going to see it again in the next week or two whenever another friend or two that I'm taking to see it can make it.) Because of my weird movie-watching habits, I'm used to sometimes seeing a movie in a fairly empty theatre. But this time, I was watching with less than ten other people and in (I think) this particular theatre's second largest space. So that did make me feel rather isolated.
But when you watch a movie without a surrounding audience, you can tell what it is you like or don't or what makes you laugh and such like. The responses are all yours, not responses based on the general audience reaction.
I have a couple of follow-up comments on this movie. The costumes and overall style of the souls really did start to bother me this time. It made it feel less like the souls try to imitate humans. The attitude of the Seekers comes up most often, and so it seemed to most define the souls--but the Seekers are only a select group of souls. So the souls, in the movie, feel like a threatening institution rather than the friendly, honest, and truly-believing-their-way-is-right group that they are. The movie makes it seem like it's specifically Wanda who is this way.
I also stared at the landscape some more. Okay, New Mexico was never going to look exactly like Arizona to an Arizonan. But still. And I know that I don't spend much time south of Phoenix (where Picacho Peak is), but when I look at pictures of the area, there's one thing in particular that I see: saguaros! And other vegetation, including gorgeous wildflowers if the season's right. But the movie portrayed this area as rather lifeless--and sandy, as I mentioned before. Considering that saguaros don't grow everywhere, I missed them. But, I say with a sigh, this isn't actually a big deal.
Why, though, does Jamie not have an accent if his sister does? Melanie has an accent to distinguish her from Wanderer, but the accent seemed to bypass Jamie.
The first part of the movie, you can say, starts slow. But I think what interests me less about it isn't the pace: it's that the "soul style" I talked about above is a primary part of these opening scenes. And while the book, because it is a book, is able to introduce Melanie's and Wanderer's characters early on as separate identities and then to form the bond between them in the desert, these developments of character happen differently in the movie.
But both times, as this movie has come forward towards its close, I have found myself in the most buoyant mood. The development happens softly, almost imperceptibly, naturally. That shot of Wanderer's face at the end, when she is saying goodbye to Melanie, that is what this story is all about. So to see Wanderer finding peace and then to see her reawaken and for her community to also find peace is powerful. It's the lingering power of success, emotion, and resolution. Wanderer has literally found herself and where she belongs.
That's why I'm loving this little, low budget movie that critics mostly criticize. That's why I'll even sit in an empty theatre to see if if I have to: because it's what I like, and like Wanderer, I don't need confirmation from someone else to choose where I give my attention.