Warm Bodies (2013)

Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast: Nicholas HoultTeresa PalmerJohn Malkovich
Plot: After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

Genre: Comedy/Horror/Romance

Awards: -
Runtime: 98min
Rating: PG13 for zombie violence and some language.




You miss him... like a boyfriend... you miss your zombie boyfriend?

This is a meaningful film and I suggest that you consider watching it. Written and directed by Jonathan Levine, who previously made 50/50 (2011) which I thought was one of the best films of its year, Warm Bodies is a worthy follow-up that meets most expectations yet still surprises as it satisfies.

It stars Nicholas Hoult (Jack the Giant Slayer, 2013) and Teresa Palmer (December Boys, 2007) as two characters stuck in two disparate worlds – the dead and the living, only to meet at a most (in)opportune moment and inevitably falling in love. Hoult plays a zombie called R, while Palmer is a human named Julie who is in search of a cure to save humanity while battling zombies.

R is no ordinary brain-chomping zombie, but one that is quite aware of his existence and has a flickering light in his heart. Of course he still eats brain matter, but I don't think he chomps on it. Anyway, he accidentally eats Julie's boyfriend, and the story begins.

Warm Bodies sees Levine taking the popular zombie genre and refashioning it into a love story. The result is something fresh, yet retaining elements of the genre that will mildly please fans. However, this is a more female-centric film, and it has been marketed as such, tapping mostly into the post-Twilight crowd, but at the same time not crucially excluding others.

What this means is that you should put away any notion that the film is in Twilight territory especially in terms of quality. Warm Bodies is so much more well-written, acted and realized. It is entertaining too, with the unconventional romance underpinning the narrative a major highlight.

The film also gives out an indie production feel that reminds of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), an apocalyptic romance film starring the unlikely pair Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. The choice of music and songs in both films incidentally reflect a yearning for nostalgia, or memories of the past.

One of the most important key themes of Warm Bodies is its questioning of the meaning of human existence. And it does so with an accessible vibe without resorting to complex philosophical musings. By using ‘the zombie’ as a parallel, the film probes on what we might possibly lose if we continue to ignore what makes us human, especially in the modern, consumerist and ‘well-connected’ world that we live in today.

This is what makes Levine’s film meaningful. Warm Bodies continues the writer-director’s rich vein of creative form, and it is fairly unlikely you will be disappointed by this quite excellent film.

Verdict: An unconventional zombie romance flick that is well-written and quite meaningful.

GRADE: B+ (8/10 or 3.5 stars)

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