You are in the dark theatre and the screen begins to fill with the side of someone’s face. Dialogue begins, “What am I doing with my life?” The dialogue continues in a sort of monotone but engaging tone. We see a close up of a big blue eye, and really white skin. The dialogue continues in the voice of the person we see on screen. His eyes shift and he talks about getting out more and having better posture. People would respect him more if he had better posture. He asks himself, “Why can’t I connect with people?” The camera zooms out and we see him walking, or rather, trudging along in an airport. “Oh right, I’m dead.” The dialogue continues, and the watcher can’t help but chuckle.
This is the opening to perhaps one of the best movies I have seen, Warm Bodies. It is a romantic tale of a zombie falling in love with a living girl, a new twist on the zombie apocalypse. We have Nicholas Hoult cast as R (the main character, or zombie) and Teresa Palmer as Julie, the living girl. The film was based on Isaac Marion’s novel by the same name.
What I really like about the film was the way it explores humanity. What exactly makes us human? We have R, a zombie who wants so much to be alive again, to connect with other people. He has this conscience, even though society has deemed him and all other zombies as mere ‘corpses’, incapable of thinking for themselves. He hungers for human flesh, but every time he feeds, he knows what he’s doing is wrong. One day, he and a pack of other zombies find some humans; among this group is Julie, whom R is attracted to.
Another aspect of the movie I enjoyed was the romantic twist and Shakespearean influences in the plot. A zombie being friends with a human is not exactly the status quo. In the Walking Dead, it tends to be either you blast the head off the zombie or they get to eat you. In Shaun of the Dead, it is pretty much the same shindig. In Warm Bodies, R saves Julie and keeps her alive. That is the complete reverse of how zombies are supposed to be. R is caring and thinks and wants to be alive. That is not your run of the mill living dead.
As for Shakespeare being present, we can start with the whole starcrossed lovers bit. R and Julie live in the post-apocalyptic society where survival means humans kill zombies. Humans do not love zombies. Zombies do not care about humans. Yet here we have a zombie and a living girl in quite the unfortunate predicament of liking each other but having society shun their being together. Then we have a balcony scene. This was the point where I finally realized that R was Romeo and Julie was Juliet. Insert ‘I see what you did there’ meme.
All in all, Warm Bodies was a fantastic movie. You will be left with a severe case of the feels and perhaps not be able to deal with how amazing the film you just witnessed was. It is comedic, romantic, and had zombies. I give the movie a five out of five, simply because I’m still trying to comprehend the beauty of what I beheld in the theatre.