When aspects of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” clashed with a new adaptation of the zombie apocalypse, the ensuing result was the romantic comedy “Warm Bodies.”
The film was based on the novel “Warm Bodies” written by Isaac Marion, and followed the narration of a zombie called R, played by Nicholas Hoult. Throughout the movie, R expressed his remorse about eating humans and his desire to experience more out of his stumbling afterlife.
When R encountered a group of human survivors searching for pharmaceutical supplies, he became fascinated with a human named Julie, played by Teresa Palmer. Instead of eating Julie, he disguised her as a zombie and brought her to his home in an abandoned airplane.
After spending time with each other, Julie and R fell in love. This abnormal relationship began to restore humanity, not just to R, but also to the other zombies that witnessed it. However, this love faced many obstacles during the course of the movie.
After R confessed to eating Julie’s boyfriend Perry, played by Dave Franco, Julie returned to the walled city where the remaining human survivors resided. When R discovered the zombies who gained their humanity back, he traveled to the city to tell Julie.
Julie’s father, played by John Malkovich, is the leader of the remaining humans, and therefore, when it came to zombies, his only policy was to shoot them in the head. So, when Julie brought R to her father to show that the zombies were coming back to life, he was not very receptive.
However, after seeing zombies and humans joined together to fight the Boneys, a skeleton-like zombie, her father started to see that the zombies could regain their humanity.
For viewers of the film, some scenes and characteristics of “Warm Bodies” were recognizable from “Romeo and Juliet.” R and Julie were the star-crossed lovers. Instead of a family feud keeping them apart, it was R’s lack of a heartbeat that caused the two lovers hearts to be separated.
There was even a balcony scene in which Julie saw R for the first time after she left him to return home. Thankfully, “Warm Bodies” ended on a much happier note than “Romeo and Juliet.”
“Warm Bodies” not only put a twist on “Romeo and Juliet”, but it modified the classic zombie film. Although there were scenes showing zombies eating organs such as stomachs and brains, this film does not have the traditional gory scenes that can be expected from most zombie movies.
“Warm Bodies” also differed from traditional zombie movies since the narration was from a zombie instead of a human trying to survive in a world overrun by mindless corpses. The film also gave a very ingenious explanation for why zombies need to eat human flesh.
According to R, if a zombie ate the brain of their victim, they were able to experience the memories of this human. If they do not eat the brains, then the victim would be a walking corpse. For R, eating the brains of the humans was a twisted way to feel human memories and emotions.
Oddly enough, the zombies did exhibit human behaviors that survived the epidemic, such as an airplane attendant who still scanned anyone who passed him, or the zombie who raised his hand for a check before leaving a bar.
It was this concentration on humanity that made “Warm Bodies” so different from other zombie films. Most traditional films showed zombies as mindless creatures far beyond any hope of returning to their former selves.
“Warm Bodies” seemed to hold out hope that if human beings connected with each other and formed strong bonds, they would be able to survive anything. And when humans lost this link to each other, they turned into walking corpses.
Thankfully, due to R and Julie’s love, the zombies in “Warm Bodies” were able to cure themselves with the help of humans who gave them a reason to live again.
“Warm Bodies” was a humorous movie targeting a younger audience. R’s narration was very typical of how a teenage boy would talk about his experience as a zombie.
Despite the humor being for a younger audience, it still struck the funny bone of audiences from all ages. An example of this humor was R’s comment on how slow zombies really were, and his suggestion that the audience catch back up with the zombies later on.
Although the movie was a romantic comedy for a younger audience, “Warm Bodies” was an ingenious adaptation of the classic genre.