Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Warm Bodies

Sometimes I feel that every time I’m having a bad day the Universe just gets up, off its ass, and cranks out personalized calm-bringer. Like Warm Bodies.

Original movie poster

I absolutely love this movie and now, after reading through a throng of very silly reviews, I thought to add my two cents to the pot.

Why do I love this movie and what is so special in it?

Well, three things: presentation, intelligence and emotion


This is not a zombie movie.

Warm bodies is a story of zombies for just as much as Star Trek is a story of aliens or Cars is a story of automobiles. They are all stories of people, of humans presented in different packaging material to accentuate one or the other aspect of humanity.

Exceptional thing in Warm Bodies is that such a powerful iconography is used to prepackage our humans one has to actually get involved with a story to be able to accept that there is no suspension of disbelief to be used in regard with creatures. Movie is filmed beautifully, with great photography, color, costumes and scenes. It all looks fully saturated, rich, beautiful and - effortless. There is not a scene or minute in this film that does not stay in the pace of the movie and that has any kind of atmosphere but that of perfect sync. It flows beautifully from scene to scene never losing momentum and showing great cohesion.


There is nothing in this world I love as much as intelligence. Understanding the mechanics of the world and using this understanding to put selection of parts in new organizations to showcase understanding the mechanics of the world - can there be any more beautiful way to celebrate intelligence?

This is not a zombie movie.

It already says so in the promotional blurb: “After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world.”

There is a part in Pratchett’s Thief of time where Susan, grade school teacher and Death’s granddaughter interacts with her pupils:

Miss Susan held up the cardboard clock and said: 'Who can tell me what this is?'
A forest of hands shot up.
'Yes, Miranda?'
'It's a clock, miss.'
Miss Susan smiled, carefully avoided the hand that was being waved by a boy called Vincent, who was also making frantically keen 'ooo, ooo, ooo' noises, and chose the one behind him.
'Nearly right,' she said. 'Yes, Samuel?'
'It's all cardboard made to look like a clock,' said the boy.
'Correct. Always see what's really there.'

Always see what's really there.

Both the writer and the director have gone to great lengths to put everything we need to understand this movie right in front of us and - more often than not - to verbally confirm it. This movie is an allegoric presentation of current society, biased commentary advocating particular way of life as functionally better than other options. Humans, corpses and boneys are not different species. They are all humans and the thing in which they differ is - caring (or empathy, as many existing psychological and philosophical theories already postulate). Further away people get from sense of empathy, less human they become. If you are unsure how this looks and works just have a look around you and you will surely see all of these three “species”.


What I love most in this movie is relationships. I was already impressed with director’s view of relationships in his previous movie 50/50 and Warm Bodies show similar, even nicely profiled connectedness. There are no crazy plot twists, no unexplainable behaviors defying logic, no stupid tricks to fit square pegs into round holes.

Just life.

Friendship, longing, concern, overwhelm-ness, pride, shame, attraction, care - they are all shown just like they appear in life and through them the story is progressed. We do our best, in real time, and we hope that our best will be enough. Other people still have to notice, understand, interpret our behaviors and react to them for any interpersonal action to happen. It is pure bliss seeing how meticulously this mechanics is shown - and how effortless it looks. Voiceovers not being narration but a stream of thought works miracles in making this story engaging, understandable and warm.

It seems that empathy, just like romance (and punk! :D), is still not dead.