First Hit: Well intentioned and not well crafted or executed.
The idea that an alien life form could use our bodies as a host and use them with less anger, violence, and angst is interesting.
The idea of what happens to the person whom had the body prior to being inhabited is thought provoking. Would our violent nature fight against the intrusion?
Would humans see the wisdom of the species taking over their body, or just see the quiet nature and simple robotic way of being as a way to kill our spirit? Or would humans know they are inhabited? All interesting questions and not explored very well in this film.
There were moments where Melanie / Wanderer / Wanda (Saoirse Ronan) who was a human holdout (as Melanie), captured and given new soul (Wanderer / Wanda). The two spirits (Melanie/Wanda) live inside Melanie’s body. She is hated by her former human boyfriend and other humans in a colony headed by Jeb (William Hurt). The souls outnumber the humans but the audience is pushed by the story and director to take sides that the humans are the righteous beings in the universe.
To me the film had a strong possibility to really explore some interesting questions, but only Ronan and Hurt gave the possibility of this interesting story a chance to live in this film. Hurt was hampered by his role as head of the human holdouts and therefore had to have a more human slant. Ronan, however, was able to bring a level of sensitivity to her role and the moment that the camera was about 6 inches above her face as she lay down on the operating table, the tenderness of her human and invader presence was truly felt. She held the film together.
Ronan was the best part of this whole film and it only worked because of her. Diane Kruger as The Seeker, the person charged with converting Melanie from human to Wanderer was very good as her own internal fight with her human aspect became clear as the film progressed. Hurt was fun to see and enjoyable to watch. His natural air of authority rang true. Andrew Niccol wrote the screenplay, playing on human emotions to protect our ways and essence, was a little naïve. It would have been interesting to explore a human getting to know and embrace what was good about the species we were hosting. Niccol also directed this film which showed the limitations of his ability to create a wider more interesting story.
Overall: Liked some of the acting and the potential of the concept and this execution lacked depth.