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American Women's Club of Hamburg

The Host (Seelen)

 ½

USA 2013
Starts June 13, 2013

Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Writing credits: Andrew Niccol, Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons, Chandler Caterbury
Length: 125 minutes

The Host (Seelen) So what would you do if someone lived in your head – literally? Wanda (Ronan) needs to find out soon because her time is running out. Her disembodied soul just arrived on earth from another planet and was implanted in a human body, an easy and routine procedure since her species, the “Souls,” colonized planet earth. But this body belonged to strong-willed Melanie Stryder (Ronan) who belonged to the few humans left in the resistance and wouldn’t even think to give up her body to Wanda. So now Wanda and Melanie share a body as well as Melanie’s memories and emotions. This makes Wanda a valuable asset to the Souls’ tenacious “Seeker (Kruger), who wants to find the location of the remaining humans. But Melanie starts talking to Wanda and shows her how much she wants to go back to her little brother Jamie (Caterbury) and her lover Jared (Irons). Wanda is now torn between the duty to her people and Melanie’s wishes.

I remember the book by Stephenie Meyer as an underwhelming experience a few years ago, but I wanted to see the movie anyway. I was expecting some action-laden and silly entertainment, which was not quite what I got. I guess you shouldn’t go see this movie if you expect character acting or elaborated dramaturgy. Yet, I had a really good time watching this movie. While the book centered on Melanie’s and Wanda’s struggle about who could be most self-sacrificing of all, the movie cut the überdrama a bit shorter. I realized that the actual story raises some rather philosophical questions. The Souls are a peace-loving and evolved species. From their point of view, they are almost doing humanity a favour by eradicating it. But then it is the strength of human passion that attracts Wanda to humans more than to any other host in her 1000 years alive. I applauded the fact that “humanity” wasn’t shown as a trait of species, but rather a trait of conscience, especially since both species are struggling for survival. All I all, I am giving this science fiction romance three and a half stars. ()

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