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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Rashid Irani's review: The Host

Rashid Irani, Hindustan Times   April 21, 2013
First Published: 02:43 IST(21/4/2013) | Last Updated: 02:45 IST(21/4/2013)

The Host
Direction:  Andrew Niccol
Actors: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons
Rating: 1/2

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The latest attempt to cash in on the popularity of the youth culture phenomenon Stephenie Meyer yields one of the most dispiriting movies in recent memory. In comparison to The Host, the earlier adaptations of her Twilight trilogy seem positively skilful.

The plot is a mishmash of alien possession pap and sci-fi silliness. Writer-director Andrew Niccol, squandering whatever goodwill be had garnered with the dystopian fantasy In Time, envisions our planet in the not-too-distant future.

It seems that most of the population has been taken over by a benign alien race. After implanting their 'souls' into the bodies of humans, they seek to obliterate the memories of their former selves.

Things get trickier when a ragtag group of survivors is determined to retain their individuality. One such defiant earthling (Ronan) fights back despite having an

extraterrestrial trapped inside her body.

The host has a running argument, via disembodied voice-over if you please, with the colonising intelligence. Just in case you're curious, it's over juggling the affections of their two mopey lovers (Irons-Jake Abel).

Go figure.

The second half thuds to a chase movie with narrative dead ends and preposterous gaps in logic.

The film is an embarrassment for everyone involved including Oscar-winner William Hurt who should have known better than to accept the thankless role of the avuncular resistance leader.

The viewer, though, still has the option to decline the invitation from this Host.

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