Oh the disappointment! A movie that doesn’t do its book justice!
Okay, I’m taking a brief detour here from the Stress Eating series to lament over how Hollywood has messed up yet another book! Stephenie Meyer’s The Host to be exact! I saw the film this past Saturday with two of my best friends and walked away from the theater saddened by the production. A word of caution, this is likely to contain spoilers especially if you haven’t read the book…. or if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
I absolutely loved the book! It was way better than the Twilight Saga (no haters here, please)! When I first saw previews, I was so excited that it would be coming to the big screen. I thought with how well the Twilight movies did that would mean they could afford to do an exceptional job on The Host, but I was sadly mistaken.
If you loved the movie, I must ask, “Have you read the book?” There is so much detail packed into the book that they could have easily broken it up into two movies to tell the story more closely to the way it was written. Instead, what did they do? They crammed it all into a 2-hour movie! The time line was all jumbled and sped up, characters died in the movie that did not die in the book, and the relational complexities of the book were grossly lacking in the movie.
From the very beginning to the end of the film, so much was done wrong! Melanie got caught by Seekers in a rundown, abandoned building searching for her cousin in Chicago, not in what looks like a hotel in the movie. And Jamie wasn’t with her, he was somewhere safe with Jared outside of the city. She threw herself down an elevator shaft in the book, not through a plate-glass window. After Wanda gets inserted in Melanie’s neck, Wanda moves to San Diego to teach at the university, but in the movie it looks like the Seekers keep her under lock and key while she’s trying to extract information from Melanie’s memories. That’s just in the first few minutes of the movie! At least they got the Arizona and desert part right!
I did find one change interesting though…. In the book, the aliens arrive and travel around in shuttles. But in the movie, the aliens arrive in their little cryo-tank pods. That part looked pretty cool.
The book is so relationship driven that I felt like the movie lost that in the rush of things. In the movie, it seemed like the main focus was Melanie, the young woman who became the host to Wanda, whereas, the book was all about the alien perspective of adjusting to human feelings and emotions, in essence her path to ultimately becoming human.
Oh! and what was the deal with making Wanda’s new body look eerily similar to Melanie in the movie? Seriously! This just adds to the thought that Ian fell in love with Melanie as much as he fell in love with Wanda, which isn’t the case in the book. In fact, in the book, Wanda becomes a petite blonde because that’s who Jamie decided most fit her personality.
Honestly, I wish I hadn’t gone into the theater with such high expectations for how it would play out on the screen. It’s one thing if they had just left bits out (which they did a LOT of), but to change things in such a way that it makes the story seem more like another mankind learning to overcome the alien enemy is just frustrating. I walked away from the movie with a whole different feeling about the story and characters than I had after reading the book the first time or two…. and it wasn’t nice. I hope people who watch the movie without having read the book don’t judge the book based on it! The book is SO much better!!!
In contrast, I saw the Hunger Games movie before I read the book…. but THAT movie went along almost perfectly with the book! As I read Hunger Games for the first time, I felt like I could play back the movie in my head. (Great book series, by the by. Though the ending of the 3rd book seemed a little rushed and like more of a summary.) I really wish that I could say the same for The Host, too bad Stephenie Meyer didn’t make them do a better job of translating her book to screen. 😦
Also, The Postman is an excellent movie and remained close to the book even though it left out a whole other subplot that the book had. I recommend this book and movie too. Lol. Actually, there have only been a couple of books-turned-movie that I thought weren’t that great (The Host being the most recent one I can think of at the moment). There have even been a couple that I preferred the movie adaptation of over the book (i.e. Contact, and Timeline).