A Host Of Ingenuity

The Host posterTHE HOST

Here’re some scares with brains and lots of laughs. The basic plot may be Godzilla soaked in kimchi, but The Host is one monster of a good movie to have finally spawned from Korea. I would say The Host is more a political satire than horror fare with the fishy reptilian, and its mouth that opens up like a tulip, a host to carry the message across. The humor is disarming and comes at the most unexpected moments blended seamlessly with tension and fear.

This show is about the things we can accomplish when we work as a family, but it is also about the fact that what the authorities do and focus on may not always be right. Because who makes up authority but people… and people err. It just takes one idiot in power to uncover a string of fools. History has a photo album to show.

What I learnt most from the movie is from this one scene where all the people who had came into contact with the creature were quarantined, as it was believed that the monster carries some sort of virus within it that can infect humans. Amidst all that fear, sorrow and confusion, a guy in yellow from the infectious disease control unit came into the quarantine area and started to order everyone onto buses and he talked to and herded them like animals. At this moment, one guy (Korean actor, Park Hae-il) stood up and demanded to know why they need to follow that instruction without any explanation on what was happening.

That struck me as yeah, almost all the time we’re told what to do and we just follow. It’s something imbued within the Asian culture where we don’t defy the authority, usually a father-figure. Authority does have its knowledge, but authority is not always right. As children, we have to listen, because we have much to learn. But as adults, don’t put us on a leash any longer. Globalization is nothing new. With the IMF and many more international events turning up, we are growing up faster and maturing sooner. We need to question not to challenge authority, but we need to find ways to do things that suits the ways things should be done today, not based on yesterday. So we need to ask more questions, and ask them quickly. If we always do what we had always done, we will always get what we had always got.

Anyway, as it turned out, there was no virus and no treat of mass infection from the mutated creature. The monster just merely chomps people for lunch, but to cover up the mistake, the Korean infectious disease unit perpetuated the infection myth and did more harm than good for the interests of the people. And who got them to buy the infection story in the first place? The United States media.

This movie is a masterpiece in not just its storytelling, but the message and subtlety in handling issues of a rather political nature. And the creature was very realistic and well-animated and presented itself as the perfect decoy as to what the movie truly is about. Oh, and did I mentioned it was also incredibly funny in a non-slapstick sort of way?


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wordsofweetzdom
    Sep 11, 2006 @ 07:09:28

    yup, i love the film too 🙂 Hollywood monster flicks do not have characters as well developed and flawed and funny and real like these.
    hey, how do you layout your LJ such that the picture is on the left with words on the right? i wanna learn!


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