In Review: Warm BodiesPosted: January 29, 2013
I will be completely honest…when I saw the first poster for Warm Bodies (2013) a few months ago I laughed. Why…because it bore a striking resemblance to another movies poster:
So I thought Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate were just planning on keeping that Twilight cash flow by funneling the fanbase into a similar story line with franchise opportunities. I was unconvinced and decided to ignore it entirely. Then they released the first trailer and it intrigued me. I hated to admit it, but I thought it was funny and it seemed like a dark comedy instead of a teen romance. I went to the source material, the novel written by Isaac Marion. Embarrassing as it was I went to the “Young Adult Supernatural Romance” section and couldn’t find a thing. That’s because it was just in the regular old fiction section. I read the book in about 2 days…and it really surprised me. It’s not about a needy teenage girl who falls for a zombie. It is really about apathy, disconnection, and how that has changed our society. You might say, “whoa, Kelly, seriously, I doubt it is that deep,” but I promise all of that was there.
The zombies that “R” hangs out with dwell in an abandoned airport. A really great scene in the beginning of the movie perfectly captures the point of the story. R walks through the airport and imagines what life was like before the zombie apocalypse occurred. He narrates about how great it must have been, everyone talking and interacting with each other, but what we see is a bunch of people avoiding eye contact and glued to their phones and tablets. The audience laughs because it is true. You weren’t allowed to bring your phones into the theater and you watched everyone uncomfortably hand them over to security. We have become a society that over-emphasizes digital interactions. We hide behind virtual identities and rarely feel comfortable sharing much of our personal lives in-person. I am just as guilty as the rest of the world. I write this blog, but then get embarrassed when someone wants to talk to me about what I wrote in-person. What if I say something they disagreed with? What if I don’t have time to perfectly craft my response? Real human interaction has become rare. We prefer our updates from one another in 140 characters or less. R wonders why he can’t connect with the other zombies, he realizes it’s because he is dead, but for us it is walls and identities we have created. It is easy to say, “I am just introverted”, or “it takes me awhile to warm up to people”, but I think you start to use that as a crutch.
We are ultimately protecting ourselves. I can write this post and ignore every comment made, but if I told you these ideas in-person I might actually have to defend my opinion or, heaven forbid, tell you more about myself and my own struggles than I care too. R realizes, like a lot of characters have before him, that the risks of trusting and loving others is worth it. I think at one point he even says “It’s easy not to feel.” So maybe in a way we have become zombies. We shuffle down the streets of life and just hope we don’t bump into the wrong person but at the same time we miss bumping into the right ones. The people who are worth trusting and loving. We dance around subject matters that make us uncomfortable and just go through the motions. Maybe you will watch this movie and roll your eyes at the cheesy moments and even laugh at them, but for me it is just another reminder to look up from my smart phone, step out of my comfort zone, and actually be a living, breathing, member of society.