The Host Image

The Host

By Brittany Witherspoon | April 17, 2020

At its core, this is what The Host is truly about—the underprivileged betting on getting rich quickly, and the rich taking advantage of those with this frame of mind. Of course, everything that happens to Robert is entirely his fault. However, the idea of getting rich quick is glorified so often that one could easily understand Robert’s relentless, albeit questionable decisions. These ideas make Newbery’s feature an intriguing study and a suspenseful journey.

As the story progresses, the plot refocuses on Robert’s temporary living situation in Amsterdam after stealing, and losing money found him in a compromising predicament between the Chinese cartel and DEA. Forced to stay in a private Airbnb, Robert finds that his host, Vera Tribbe (Maryam Hassouni), is more than meets the eye as dark secrets begin to swallow his life whole. Unfortunately, this is precisely when the film loses some of the intriguing groundwork the first act so graciously laid out.

“…I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was entertained…”

Just as Robert gets in over his head, audiences can expect the same from this often confusing crime thriller. Finola Geraghty’s script overexplains what’s occurring, yet there are times when it’s hard to decipher where the screenwriters want to take the plot. Perhaps that is Newbery’s way of turning a tired genre into a more intricate one. And in a way, he almost succeeds. But as hard as it is to grasp where the story intends to go, it’s just as easy to realize that it had no other choice but to fall into standard crime thriller tropes.

Still, that doesn’t take away from the foundation on which the film built itself. And that’s the fascination of wealth and the relentless pursuit of it by any means necessary. Robert’s lust for riches is a common desire among people in the world. But how we obtain the life we seek is what matters. Had Geraghty’s script leaned more into this concept, there’s no doubt in my mind that The Host could’ve been exceptional. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was entertained regardless.

The Host (2020)

Directed: Andy Newbery

Written: Finola Geraghty

Starring: Dougie Poynter, Maryam Hassouni, Mike Beckingham, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

The Host Image

"…he’s simply a man who is willing to do the most outrageous things..."

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