The Host – Review

Walking into the first BCM320 class I honestly didn’t know what to expect (probably my fault for not reading the subject outline), however after learning that we would be screening different Asian films I was instantly intrigued. With my cultural background consisting of the whitetest of whiteness, other cultures specifically in Asia have always interested me.

The South Korean film “The Host”, held an interesting message regarding pollution and the communications with South Korea and The United States. To quickly summarise the film, American military personnel were dumping toxic chemicals into South Korea’s Han River which resulted in the birth of this human consuming monster which also carried a contagious disease (crazy, I know). The main character was separated from his daughter who was believed to be dead after being consumed by the monster. The rest of the film consists of the main character’s quest in trying to be reunited with his daughter as well as killing the chemically birthed monster. 

From previously watching a lot of Korean television shows and movies I’ve noticed that is is common to use music and humour throughout to add a flare of comedy to the film. However, even though the CGI was not the best and the movie did have some level of humour, I believe it carried an important message about the toxic pollution and was almost a humorous jab at The US military maybe?. The director Bong Joon-ho even discusses how the movie was motivated by an incident which occurred in 2000 when a Korean mortician working for The US military, dumped a large amount of chemicals down the drain. I feel as if Bong Joon-ho effectively communicated environmental concerns to the audience whilst also making the movie enjoyable to watch. This  was proven in the numerous awards “The Host” was nominated for such as “Best Film” at the Asian Film Awards. It also held the “Highest grossing film” in Korea for a number of years. 

Overall, I found the movie interesting and I enjoyed the live tweeting experience. However, it was difficult at times to manage watching the film, reading subtitles, tweeting and reading other peoples tweets all at once. Hopefully this will get easier to manage as the term progresses. 

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