On one hand, there are themes of reducing man to an ‘animal.’
On a few others… there are themes of sisterhood, vegetarianism, parent pressure, sexuality, etc.
But none of them are executed well under this university student cannibal vehicle. They’re all just spelled out so blatantly, which leads me to ask, why do people like this? Maybe it’s fun, campy, with OK looking gore to them? Honestly, I thought it was tame and kinda dull. And not disturbing enough to even mention.
The cinematography is rather flat but competent at the very least.
One praiseworthy thing with the soundtrack is with the leg scene, it goes from a song with pretty standard acoustic guitar riffs to a pretty bone-chilling violin (?) theme at the ‘very,’ ‘shocking,’ ‘disturbing’ reveal, which creates a nice juxtaposition.
p.s I don’t understand how people can be shocked by that predictable ending.
Starting my April film watch with: The Host // Bong Joon-ho is able to create a world wherein you can actually believe in a weird, dumb, strange looking fish-dinosaur thing is attacking lower Seoul, South Korea. Despite the fact that this was made in 2006 my first watching experience (in 2017) was not hindered in any way by the SFX department; correctly mimicking the actual light that would reflect off of the monster, and the ripples in the water made by the monster made the monster feel very alive in the world of the film. The Cinematography is also really well done, from the cinematographer of Bong Joon-ho’s excellent film ‘Memories of Murder.’ Kim Hyung-ku creates a very lived in aspect with every shot of multiple people.
The film is not just a monster film though, making it miles above most that have come out in the last ten years. It has themes of Family, Politics, and how a desperate, but naive and ignorant government deals with a monster and how the media reacts to all of it. The main and first point of trauma and tension is when Song Kang-ho’s character realizes that he grabs the wrong girl’s hand instead of his daughter’s while trying to escape the monster.
This sets up the rest of the dramatic points, as he struggles to find his daughter only to realize she’s being taken away. The victims of the Han River massacre get taken to a gymnasium, where we meet the rest of the ensemble. This setting is used for two things, to showcase the grief-stricken family and how they’ll interact with each other for the rest of the film and the Government’s plot to get everyone that has been in contact with the monster into quarantine. The story continues at a fairly consistent pace; break out of the hospital, buy guns and a van, to hunt down the beast and rescue Hyun-seo who called while they’re in the hospital. All the while a small sub-plot of political rebels start catching onto the government’s mistreatment of the ‘infected,’ until the third act. The end leaves you with a pretty resolved but melancholic feeling.
Park Hae-Il’s character, the brother, says something important to Song Kang-ho’s character: “You grabbed some other girl’s hand? You left Hyun-seo on the ground? Your own daughter! You call yourself a fucking father?” This gets mentioned later, in possibly my favorite scene in any film. In this scene, Byun Hee-bong’s character explains to his two children why Song Kang-ho’s character is as dim-witted as he is (they’re also falling asleep, which only adds to the human element.) And scolds them for treating him as this pathetic person, and for treating him poorly in the earlier mentioned gymnasium scene. Byun Hee-bong has one of most human portrayals that I’ve seen, with these lines of dialogue: “Have any of you heard it? The heartbreak of a parent who’s lost a child. When a parent’s heart breaks… the sound can travel for miles.” and asks them to be kind to their brother.
Overall, The Host is a very well done film about a family trying to deal with their grief and making sure they don’t lose their fifth and youngest member // Watched April 1st // Rated 8/10 //
This Post contains spoilers for the first episode of Demi-Chan wa Kataritai. I highly recommend you watch the show before you read any further~
Minorities being a thematic point within an Anime in itself is already rare and even more so from the perspective of someone that knows little about them. Shows like Wandering Son, Doukyuusei, Aoi Hana and others are incredibly important, but I believe that Demi-chan brings an equally important and often overlooked part of all of this to the table. Where discrimination and the likes are already gone, there’s still a certain disconnect between people of minorities and the ones not having much experience with them.