Imagine a world that is peaceful, illness is instantly cured, and there is no war or discord. It sounds like a beautiful existence, and it is for the aliens, called Souls, who have occupied Earth and taken on earthling bodies as hosts. Not so much for the humans whose bodies have been inhabited. Most of the humans disappear into oblivion when the Souls are inserted into their bodies. But Melanie is a strong personality and refuses to disappear. This creates a challenge for the Soul named Wanderer living inside her body and together they embark on a journey complete with angst, danger and love.
This is the premise for the movie The Host based on the novel by Stephanie Meyers. Stephanie had great success with her Twilight trilogy about other worldly beings and a girl in love. This film has much the same idea, but with aliens and humans rather than werewolves and vampires. This new film is also about a woman torn between two different men, and yet it is also about so much more.
The Souls came to Earth, because they felt it was a violent world full of people who were not only quick to go to war and kill each other, but also slow to notice the harm they were doing to their own planet. The Souls figured they could improve the planet and bring peace and harmony; and they did, but at what cost? That is just one of the questions posed in this film. Another is…what exactly is it that we love when we love another? Is it their personality? Is it their body? Is it their soul? And what if the essence of who we loved were in another body? What then?
I read the book (twice) before seeing the film and I highly recommend it. It is 620 pages and I suppose that was difficult to squash into a 2 hour movie, and some of the character development was lost. They did the best they could, and while I really enjoyed the film, I was happy that I had read the book. Whether you see the film or read the book, this is a very interesting subject full of thought provoking questions.