I saw my first zombie movie about a few weeks ago; Warm Bodies, a pleasing twist to the classic Romeo and Juliet tale told in a dark but comedic way from the zombie’s point of view. Yeah, I know, sounds bizarre but when I first saw the trailer last year I knew I would want to see this movie. It looked clever, funny, dark, sweet and something new. Seriously, it’s a good trailer, watch it here if you want. (It’s also going to be the only place you’ll get from me on a plot summary; so if you want actual plot summary, go find your friend Wiki…)
Well, I went and saw it at a local cheap theater by myself (yes, my Mom knows I went and saw this, she dropped me off, lol) and I loved every minute of it. I’m pretty sure I was the only girl in there, too. lol.
For a film about zombies, who obviously eat people, there was little gore, which I appreciated. There was less language then I expected, only a few s words and one f that slipped in. The romance was not annoying and moved at a realistic pace, which always makes it way more enjoyable to watch. And it was humorous; I was smiling throughout most of the film from R’s commentary. I would agree with the rating of PG-13 for viewer recommendation.
R is my new favorite character right now, besides Merlin and Nick Burkhardt. He was protective of Julie, kept her safe and provided for her. For a zombie, he was quite the gentleman; reassuring, kind, knew when to give her space and time to herself, was never angry at her when she did things her own way and ended up putting herself in danger. And he loved her, and it was this love that began to cure his deadness. But more on him later.
Julie is the link between the zombies and the last of the human race. She is decent character in my opinion because she’s balanced. In a lot of movies, females are often portrayed as two extremities; their either completely dependent on the male hero in that she can’t even stand up on either of her feet and her complete happiness rests on someone else and she’s just useless. Or their completely independent, extremely able to kick-butt while in their high heels and their don’t need anybody for anything. Julie hits the healthy center between these two (both of which are unhealthy for anyone in existence ever.) She’s strong, she’s daring, she can shoot, she’s brave. She also is human. She’s fearfully like anyone else; while she can stand on her own two feet, she learns to except the help R is offering to her. And that’s not a sign of weakness.
The romance was good and pretty clean. A lot of romances especially based after the Romeo and Juliet structure often have outrageously unrealistic relationships where both sides instantly fall in love and it’s just not believable at all*islookingatWestSideStory* (“instantly falling in love” is often confused with “instantly feeling your chemistry” in a lot of movies; learn to tell the difference between human chemistry and real ‘love’.) While R was instantly attracted to Julie and it’s not really explained how (considering he first sees her during a battle), it still works. Okay, just believe me, it works. However, Julie has a realistic amount of time for her feelings to grow from absolute fear, to curiosity, to being just friends to having real feelings. And R is patient with her; he doesn’t rush things, he waits for her to feel comfortable around him. And the longer they were together, the more human he became.
What was so interesting about this movie was that it wasn’t just one genre. The romance didn’t control the story but it was a large part of the plot. R’s commentary was funny and clever but the film wasn’t a comedy. And it wasn’t a zombie-gore-o-rama blood and guts film; there was little gore but there was some actual plot structure and character growth to it as well. I’m pretty sure that’s missing from a lot of zombie movies.
And the parallels to Romeo and Juliet were fun and different; instead of two warring families, it was humans against zombies. There was even a balcony scene that wasn’t cheesy. There was more at stake for R and Julie then just ‘their feelings’ for each other; there was the recently discovered ‘cure’ for turning the zombies back to humans and that was human love and interaction. Julie ultimately had to make her father (who was the leader of the human resistance) realize that many of them were changing because of what they saw in her and R; it reminded them of something they once had as humans. So, their relationship was actually important and influential; more then just selfish ‘but we’re in love and we want to be together’ crap.
So, that was very appreciated.
Ultimately, the message of the movie was that being alive, being human; life in general, is precious. R, a zombie, knew he was missing something and as he became more alive began to actually feel things that we feel everyday. So, you end up leaving the movie feeling grateful for things that you never thought about before; the fact that you can feel cold, the fact that you can sleep at night and dream your own dreams, that you have memories, and that you can interact and connect with others. That you can feel emotion.
This was excellent for me, because when you’ve gone through very hurtful situations where you feel rejected by those you need the most, the heart ache and hollowness can make you wish that you simply couldn’t feel things anymore. You start wishing that you didn’t have to care about anybody ever again because caring means you will eventually get hurt. And you start to close yourself off from everyone because that’s the only way you can think of to keep from being hurt. Again.
I’ve felt like an emotionally and mentally dead zombie for a while now because I’ve been so hurt but not given a chance to properly heal before getting hurt again. So I just started to feel dull and closed off. Yeah, I’m standing up and eating and moving through the day but the ‘you’ is dead. Like a zombie.
But R helped me appreciate my feelings in general. Life will always hurt, emotions will always be there to confuse me and people will always let me down. But being hurt means being human and being human is one of best things in the world. Because while love can really suck and it can also really heal. Like R, I’m want to start healing, to start changing, to start feeling again. Because being a zombie is both really inconvenient and no fun. If you stay that way, you eventually loose anything that was human about you and become something bitter and twisted, like the Bonies from the film. And there was absolutely nothing redeemable about them.
I know this movie probably wouldn’t appeal to a lot of you, but it means something to me. It’s helped face me towards a road of healing because I emotionally and mentally related to R in many ways. That might sound weird, but I’ve found over the last few years that hope and help come from the strangest places.
So, I highly recommend this film to the appropriate age group. It’s not a film for everyone, but it strangely helped and comforted me. I can’t wait to add it to my DVD collection.