Every now and again you watch a movie and it is so brilliant you have to tell everyone you see about it. The last time that happened to me was when I first saw Third Star (if you haven’t seen it, you need to re-evaluate your life). I have seen many movies in the year since that occurred, and none have even come close to gaining that reaction from me (I lie, Pitch Perfect and Perks came pretty close, but still). I had just about given up on ever finding another movie that would absolutely blow my mind.
And then along came Warm Bodies.
I’m not a fan of the Zombie genre. The only Zombie movie I have ever been able to sit through was Zombieland, and even then I was uneasy. I guess zombies have always freaked me out – I used to cry watching Thriller, and to be honest, I still avoid it.
But I saw the trailer for Warm Bodies while conducting research at my internship, and heard amazing things about it from America, and resigned myself that I would have to get over my fear and see it.
As most of you are probably aware, there is nothing I love more than characterisation. I devour fan-fiction and fanon because I’m always thinking about what might have been, and what the silenced characters were thinking. Draco Malfoy isn’t my favourite character because of what JK Rowling says about him, he’s my favourite for what she doesn’t say.
In a traditional Zombie movie, the story is told from the human perspective. The zombies are the enemy. They are there as a creature without a voice, an object simply to create tension and to be killed. Thankfully, Warm Bodies completely subverts this tradition, and has the story narrated by R, a zombie.
Straight away, it was love.
R knows he is dead, but is sick of his mundane “life” as a zombie. He craves conversation and companionship. We look at him and see a zombie (albeit, an extremely attractive one), but as soon as we hear his voice we think differently about him. He is almost more human than we are, because in losing his humanity he realises what we often overlook while taking everything for granted. Humanity is a gift, and we rush around and forget to appreciate things like physical feelings and dreaming. It’s only once R loses it all that he figures out how important it is.
I don’t want to spoil the movie for you (although the trailer does give away the whole premise), but the Cure is so simplistically perfect, not just for the movie, but for our actual modern world and life. One of my favourite scenes in the film is when R is walking around the airport and wonders what it was like “when people could interact”. It cuts to a scene of the airport, before the infection, and everyone, including children, are on their phones and technologies, ignoring the people physically with them. The Cure to the infection is basically a metaphor for our current state as humans. We have become so detached from actually talking and communicating with each other in a non-technological way that we basically are zombies. The films Cure could teach us all a lot about being human and actually living. It’s not just relevant for the undead.
I think what I loved most about Warm Bodies was the way it made me think, and still managed to be hilarious and attention-grabbing at the same time. It was brilliant in every way possible.
Nicholas Hoult…deserves all the awards for his role. He played a zombie so realistically it was hard to remember he isn’t actually one. His adorable awkwardness and personality were breathtaking. Aussie Teresa Palmer was alright as token human and love interest Julie, although to be honest my lack of interest in her character wasn’t her fault. She’s not intended to be the focus of our attention, and her character isn’t developed enough for the audience to really connect to. The focus of Warm Bodies is definitely on the zombies, and their view of the world. The humans are there as background, and that is what makes the film so powerful, and such a standout in its genre.
I could write for hours about the brilliance and depth of the film, but I will contain myself (as hard as it may be).
I encourage (and by encourage I mean demand) all of you to see Warm Bodies at the very next available moment, and experience a truly great film in the midst of all the second rate comedies and sequels doing the rounds. I definitely plan on seeing it again, and again (and again, if my parents will begin funding these movie trips).
Warm Bodies is out now in cinemas across Australia.
frangipani princess xoxo