Warm Bodies

Having seen Warm Bodies two nights in a row last month, the subtle thought of a zombie apocalypse entered my mind. I shouldn’t say subtle, I would say blaring. As funny as some scenes were, some interesting concepts came to the fore worth discussing. I’m hoping this Monday Mayhem post can do the film justice by exploring those ideas.

Warm Bodies (Photo Credit: Jonathan Wenk)
Warm Bodies (Photo Credit: Jonathan Wenk)

I’ll try writing this post having in mind not to give away any plot points or spoilers. I’ll attempt to keep it as general and as high concept as possible.

One of the main themes the movie emphasizes is love will cure all. It’s no secret that when people feel lost and alone they turn to family and friends for support. Why is that? Family is the crux of a stable society. When one becomes injured, family can help with raising the spirits. Who else knows us better than family? However, what is one to do when they possess a fractured family? This is where friends come into to play. Friends—good friends—the kind that have been there through good and bad, light and darkness, joy and pain, they’re the ones who can provide support when all seems lost. Warm Bodies makes it plain that having a support system will make all things better. Love will cure all.

Oh, Romeo, Romeo! The movie drips with references to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, which, by the way, aside from Hamlet and Othello, is one of my favorite plays of all time. Again, I ask the question, why? Why the references at all? Is there significance with the way the characters interact with one another and how the main theme plays out?

Warm Bodies (Photo Credit: Jan Thijs)
Warm Bodies (Photo Credit: Jan Thijs)

For those who don’t know, the story of Romeo & Juliet is about love conquering all. It’s about feuding families who, by death, quell their quarrels. The entire opening of the play gives away the whole story:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life

As with the play, Warm Bodies tells of two families at war with one another, a war that can cease only with death. Yet, death is not what it may seem. For some, death may be life. And life is all that matters.

The last point the movie highlights is that no matter how bad things get, they can get worse, and they usually do. We shouldn’t ever give up on what we want from life—even if we’re in the throes of darkness. Our life is our own, to make of it what we will by sheer will and integrity.

These are the things I’ve learned watching Warm Bodies.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

Do you have a lesson you’d like to share having watched the movie? If not, do you plan to watch it?

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21 thoughts on “Warm Bodies

  1. I really enjoyed the movie. My son was reluctant to watch it. Despite nearing teen-dom, he’s not big into gore. Zombies haven’t “sparked” him yet, but I think I might have a convert on my hands after this. He was also leery of the love-story aspect, but it was so charmingly done – and didn’t have the traditional Romeo/Juliet ending – that we both really liked it. It was funny but (pardon the pun) heart warming. We both enjoyed “romeo’s” friend.

    I had no idea there was a book (bad writer) and now I’ll have to read that.

    • Ha, heartwarming! How could I have missed that? I have to remember that one next time someone asks me to describe it. Heartwarming–that was a good one! And yes, I didn’t want to reveal too much about the movie, but it does deviate from the traditional ending for R&J, which is one of my all-time favorite stories–ever!

      I picked up a copy of the book and will read it this fall, taking a break from Grisham for a bit!

  2. I loved this movie. I loved the book even more. It is very beautifully written and explores the theme that you spoke of even more in-depth. I teach a zombie themed freshmen composition class at SFASU and I have them read the first two chapters of the novel to teach personal narrative. It teaches them about perspective and description. Most of them really enjoy it.

  3. Love this movie…and the book. The similarity to Romeo and Juliet is so fun to see. Of course, there are many modern stories that echo Shakespeare’s work. He was, after all, a genius.

    • I grew up on Romeo & Juliet. I’ve seen every possible version known to man. Each time I get to the crucial point in the plot where the death plot comes to the fore, I cringe knowing how unnecessary it really is, but have no way in stopping it. Baz Luhrmann’s version is the absolute best, in my book. He took all the emotional content Shakespeare had on the page and poured it completely on the screen. It’s mind-numbing, but in a good way! Gosh, I can talk for hours about R&J! 🙂

  4. It certainly has intriguing approach to death. I haven’t seen it yet but intend to. I think all Zombie stories have an underlying thread of hope, why else wouldn’t you eat a bullet instead of fighting for your and other’s life? What I do like is that love could potentially change the playing field, albeit slowly, leaving plenty of time to fight sa the changes take place!
    Thanks for the insight Jack 🙂

  5. I agree. The movie is a post-apocalyptic-world version of Romeo and Juliet. The love-story, two groups who are sworn enemies, the balcony scene in the movie and even the names of the lead characters “R” and “Julie”

  6. I haven’t seen this one yet, and now I want to watch it even more! Awesome post – piqued my interest without giving anything away. Well done!

  7. I really enjoyed the movie. Quite humorous, and definitely not your average zombie flick. I thought it was very cute, and I loved how it was a zombie-version of Romeo and Juliet. 🙂

  8. Yes, I agree the movie was quite interesting. Though I doubt that if a zombie apocalypse would happen, that love would strike the zombies and make them become more human again and things would revert back to human. Love is not a primitive concept nor feeling, which is what the zombies are, is primitive, so I really do not thing this, in theory, would ever happen. This whole thing, of course, was dramatize and romantize, for a good story, which it was, of course. But it was a good and interesting movie, nevertheless.

  9. Interesting insights. I really enjoyed the film, and regret not having read the novel first. I agree there were some really clever themes explored in the film, especially the Romeo and Juliet references. More than anything I loved the idea of love curing all, and while I may be dismissed as a romantic optimist, I maintain my faith in the idea.

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