By Navindra Persaud:
Director Jonathan Levine has delivered one of the most unorthodox zombie movies with his film Warm Bodies. Hitting theaters last Friday, Levine’s successful recreation of a love story between a zombie and a human is a refreshing change from vampires and werewolves who seem to have taken over in today’s Twilight age. Warm Bodies is based on the eponymous novel by Isaac Marion.
The story takes place after a zombie apocalypse. “R”, the main character, played by British actor Nicholas Hoult, is a zombie obsessed with trying to figure out where he belongs in the post-apocalyptic world, and why he feels different from the rest of the undead creatures around him. It all becomes clearer when he meets Julie, played by Australian actress Teresa Palmer, a zombie killer that has a change of heart when rescued by R.
There are gross-out factors, with zombies eating brains and human flesh, especially the brains and flesh of Dave Franco who was in the film, but never exaggerated.
There is just the right balance between gross scenes, action packed human vs. zombie battles and the love story which bore a stunning similarity to Romeo and Juliet. Anyone could sense that similarity, especially with the two main characters being R and Julie. What made this more evident is the fact that in one scene R was outside Julies’ window while she spoke secretively to him from her balcony.
Throughout the film, Julie realizes that R is more than just a flesh eating corpse and together these two characters embark on a journey, both of them not quite sure if what they feel for each other is real. Things get even trickier when Julie’s father, played by John Malkovich, realizes his daughter is in love with a zombie.
One of the best aspects of this film is the fact that it adds quirky humor to a tale of forbidden love. Though it was a short movie, some points did feel dragged out as though they were fillers. However, the film paid a great deal of attention to the setting, from the abandoned zombie-infested airport to the dark subways and heavily barricaded community of the last remaining humans.
Another successful factor in this movie is the soundtrack. Every song that played seemed to be perfect for the scene. Some songs exploited the humor while others set the tone of the love story between the two main characters in the film. The idea of a zombie living on an airplane and listening to vinyl records is farfetched, but Levine incorporates it perfectly in the film.
The film is full of simple dialogues between the characters and didn’t show much development. It seemed as if the love story between the main characters was rushed. Anyone watching this film will overlook the dialogue because they will be distracted by the interesting plot twists that include other undead creatures called “bonies,” which I have never seen in any other classic zombie film.
The cast was quite unfamiliar but did an excellent job in their roles. Hoult, who previously played the character “Beast” in X-Men First Class, played one emotionally confused zombie who seemed to become more human by the minute, even dreaming which is something zombies don’t do. His speech patterns, carefully placed scars on his face, and pale complexion bore a striking resemblance to Johnny Depp in his role as Edward Scissorhands.
Warm Bodies is a simple, fun zombie movie that is surely worth watching. It will make you laugh because of its awkwardness and surprise you with its creative plot twist.