Monday, March 16, 2009

Hostel - Analysis of the Movie - part 1: The underlying meaning of certain events


[Image at left from the Wikipedia 'Hostel (2005 film)' page; "Hostel poster",[a] licensed under fair use via Wikipedia.]

Welcome to the analysis of Hostel . Buttons at the bottom of each post enable navigation through the parts of the analysis.

Hostel is a 2005 horror film written and directed by Eli Roth. It stars Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eyþór Guðjónsson, and Barbara Nedeljáková.

The first thing that is of interest to us in this analysis, involves the character Kana (the Oriental woman). She has her face partially burned off during a torture session; this is symbolic of the Oriental concept of losing face. A person who has lost face has lost the respect of others; this is what Kana fears will happen to herself, due to the fact that she has had her beauty ruined. Thus, she commits suicide (by jumping in front of a moving train).

Moving on to another character, there are a pair of related scenes involving Oli. At one point during the sauna scene, he is shown with a mock face drawn on his bare buttocks just before he sits down. Then in a later scene, after he has been killed, his decapitated head is shown sitting on a chair. In a sense, the former scene predicts the latter one, within the context that both scenes convey the idea of a face being sat upon (i.e., if someone were to sit in the chair with the head on it, they'd be sitting on Oli's face).

Another pair of scenes involving one event seemingly predicting another, is the Amsterdam brothel scene followed by a later scene in the building in which the torture chambers are located. In one of the rooms in the brothel, a female worker is sitting astride a male client while he's laying on his back, and she's shouting at him and slapping him. Then much later, in the torture building, there is a conversation between Paxton and Natalya, during which Paxton calls Natalya a "bitch", and she responds by saying, "I get a lot of money for you, and that makes you my bitch." In both this scene and the sauna scene, a woman is effectively treating a man as if he is 'her bitch'.

a. Poster for Hostel:The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, the publisher, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, or the graphic artist.

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