Warm Bodies is Romeo and Juliet

warmromeoAs I was watching the movie of Warm Bodies I noticed something. That something was that Warm Bodies was basically Romeo and Juliet, with zombies. We’ll explore a few of the points that make it so. There are a few areas I want to address. These are names and character similarities,  feuding families, dreams, and key scenes.

Oh yeah…

WARNING!! SPOILERS!!! MOVIE SPOILERS!!! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE YET DON’T READ THIS POST

Let’s dig right in with the first category.

Names and Character Similarities

Let’s list the two groups of main characters for each and compare them.

Warm Bodies

R-zombie love lead

Julie-human love lead

M-R’s best guy

Perry-Julie’s former love interest

Nora-Julie’s confidant, wants to be a nurse

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo-human love lead

Juliet-human love lead

Mercutio-Romeo’s best guy

Paris-Juliet’s promised man

Nurse-Juliet’s confidant and is a nurse

 

 

 

So, as you can see, there are a few similarities, primarily first initials.

Let’s start by comparing the two Rs, those would be R and Romeo. The thing is, they both start with R and what do they do? They fall in love with a girl whose name is Julie or Juliet. Both of these Rs are, in fact, attached to someone else before they meet Julie/Juliet. In Rs case he has a zombie wife and zombie kids. He never knows the zombie wife’s name. In Romeo’s case, he fawns over a woman named Rosaline. Rosaline never looks his way at all. In the case of R and his zombie wife, the zombie wife readily cheats on R when he starts dragging Julie around, but I guess that is pretty fair.

Then we have Julie and Juliet. Julie is the daughter of basically the city commander in the city where Julie and some other survivors live. He is very important. His number one enemy are the zombies. Julie actually takes it upon herself to call herself by her mother’s maiden name instead of her father’s name. Her mother’s maiden name is Cabernet. Juliet Capulet, Julie Cabernet, again, with the initials. Julie and Juliet are both a little willful. Both are attached to men before they meet their respective Rs. Julie is dating Perry and Juliet is being engaged to Paris. Both of these men are considered a catch to their respective families.

On to the Ms! M is R’s best friend. They spend time together. They talk about things, sort of. They go hunting together. R knows M’s quirks and M knows R’s quirks. Just like friends should be. In the case of Romeo, he spends his time with Mercutio. They go hang out together. They crash parties together. I think they’re actually related, I’m not ond-hundred percent sure on that answer though. Basically both sets of Ms and Rs are partners in debauchery.

On to the Ps! Perry is Julie’s boyfriend. They’ve been together for a couple of years, but Perry changes. He changes primarily when his father is killed in a construction accident. He actually muses on the fact that in a world full of zombies that his father got killed by something so mundane. He sort of becomes general Gregio’s right-hand man. He almost worships General Gregio, who is also Julie’s father. The same kind of situation is going on over in Romeo and Juliet world with Paris. Paris obviously respects Lord Capulet. He respects his opinions and he respects his family. Paris is also a well-respected member of society in Verona. When he asks for Juliet’s hand in marriage, the family is pretty much like, “Yeah, that’s pretty good.” Nurse even kind of gets the hots for him when talking to Juliet. He gets her fire going if you know what I mean.

On to the Ns! Nora is Julie’s best friend, but it wasn’t always this way. They tell each other everything. They go places together. Where one is, the other follows. Nora, at times, even performs this protective function to Julie. She even helps Julie sneak R into the city and dress him up as a real person. Now to mention the troubled past, Nora actually slept with Perry when she first came to the city, as in, Julie’s boyfriend Perry. Everybody made up though. Oh yeah, Nora wants to be a nurse. Nurse Nora. So let’s look at Nurse in the world of Shakespeare. Nurse takes care of Juliet. They confide in each other. Nurse helps Juliet sneak Romeo into her bedroom so they can have sex. Nurse also gets the hots for Paris.

Those are my character and name comparisons.

Feuding Families

In both cases, Warm Bodies and Romeo and Juliet, the families are basically at war. In Warm Bodies the reason for the war is kind of obvious. If one group of people is trying to eat another group of people they probably are going to be at war. In Romeo and Juliet, the reason the families are feuding is never given. Maybe someone looked at someone else funny one day and that set the whole thing off. I wasn’t there, nobody else was either, because it never happened.

History is full of feuding families. A couple of historical events come to mind that involved families basically at war with one another. I’m thinking firstly of the Hatfields and McCoys and secondly of something like the War of the Roses. In both instances pieces of families were going at it. They were killing each other. It’s the same in both of our stories. Each group killed the heck out of the other group. I do think Romeo’s group of people was a little more civilized than Rs group of people.

Yes, I do think the rest of the airport zombies are R’s family. They do things together. They live together. They eat together. They spend time together. They’re family. Sometimes they even fight with each other, just like a real family.

Dreams

Dreams are something that are mentioned in both tales. Romeo and Mercutio talk of dreams. A couple of them are even explained as I recall, but I wasn’t paying that much attention. In R and M’s cases, both of them begin to dream. In fact, both tales have mention of dreams in an orchard. There is mention of fruit trees both here and there. R hadn’t dreamt as a zombie, but he learned to dream as he became more human and so did M.

Dreaming is something some scientists consider that sets us apart from animals. We know that some animals dream. I don’t know what of, but we’ve all had a dog who whines in his sleep and acts like he is growling at something. It happens. Sometimes when you have this amazing, or really weird dream, you have to tell your friends. This is what happens in both tales. Both Rs and both Ms have some dreams and they tell each other about it. It’s part of their banter. Besides debauchery, they do actually talk about things.

Key Scenes

There are several scenes that happen in both tales. There is a standoff between the two Ps and the two Ms. There is a balcony scene between the two Rs and Js. There is a suicide scene in both tales. I’ll explain that in a bit. Lastly, there is a subsequent “make up” scene in both tales.

Let’s get to the standoff. The standoff occurs at different points in these two tales. In Romeo and Juliet, the standoff is at the very end. Romeo kills Paris. It’s not any different in Warm Bodies, with the exception of some timing. The standoff in this tale actually happens towards the beginning. It’s something of a catalyst for the rest of the story. R kills Perry. He eats Perry’s brain and tries to take his memories. More importantly, R takes Perry’s woman. This happens in both tales. The two Rs steal the two Ms girls.

Yes, that famous balcony scene exists in both tales. In both tales we find Rs below balconies trying to call up to their beloved Js. Romeo comes to tell Juliet that he loves her. He thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips. R comes to tell Julie that he misses her and maybe also that bonies want to kill everyone. I have no idea who they symbolize in terms of Romeo and Juliet. In both scenes R comes to Js’ bedrooms, which has a balcony for some reason. The Js are spoiled ok? They’re spoiled. I never had a balcony for men to profess their love for me under when I was growing up, not that any men would have been doing that. There probably would have just been some howling dogs or something down there. Both Rs are at their most eloquent moments. R has learned more speech, or rather remembered more speech. He comes to Julie and speaks in complete sentences. Romeo spouts of a bunch of crap about how Juliet is like the morning sun. For the record, I have never heard a teenager talk like that. I don’t think it’s actually possible, but this is Shakespeare we’re talking about. People didn’t talk normally when Shakespeare was around apparently.

Now, the suicide scene. We all know that Romeo and Juliet end up dead because they’re airheads. They kill themselves over puppy love. One chooses a dagger and the other poison. Idiots! Both of them! There are some eloquent words involved in their deaths. They both decide they cannot live without the other. It’s just not possible. There is no way. It’s the same for Warm Bodies, but our two characters actually live. You may be asking how there is a suicide scene if the characters live? Well let me explain…at one point, Julie and R are running away from all the people with guns. They end up on a high wall. They decide to jump. They will not be separated. R uses his half-dead body as a cushion for Julie. They jump off a wall that is like ten stories tall. They should be dead. Their act implies death. Anybody else would be dead, but Rs half dead body made it possible for both of them to live, well, sort of, for R.

Now after the two Rs and two Js commit suicide, sort of, the feuding families make up. They look at their differences and they say, “We’re really not so different.” They decide to get along. They decide to work together to rebuild what they torn down with their feud. The Capulets and Montagues decide to be buddies. The zombies and the people decide to try and help each other live.

Conclusion

This post took a lot of effort, but I think it was worth it. If we can’t see old stories repeated in out modern-day lives, we’re missing out on a lot of experiences. Isaac Marion basically re-wrote Romeo and Juliet with zombies. He re-wrote what some people consider to be the greatest love story of all time. He put a spin on it that would appeal to our youngsters these days. We all know, it’s all about the zombies. I still haven’t figured out why that is. Zombies are pervading our society, not actually pervading it, but in our media, zombies are everywhere. Let’s hope the real thing never comes to town.

Warm Bodies Movie Review

warm bodiesI ventured to the theater on Groundhog day to see Warm Bodies. It was cold, so I’m guessing the groundhog saw his shadow, but who knows. It doesn’t matter if the thing sees its shadow or not, winter doesn’t officially end until past the middle of March, so technically, no matter if the groundhog sees a shadow or not, we’re still going to have six weeks of winter no matter what. I don’t know who started this strange superstition anyways.  All I know is that it’s not a holiday I get off of work for.

Summary

Let’s get into a little summary of what happens in the movie. We meet R, he’s just walking about the airport explaining his world to us. He tells us about his friend M. He shows us his airplane house. He gets lost in the airport. He talks about the bonies.

He explains that zombies know a couple of words and they’re usually composed of, “hungry,” and, “city.” R goes off with some buddies to hunt for some food. They walk in on a group of people at a pharmacy of some sort. By the way, we are introduced to Julie before this point. We get to see her life in the city where the people live. It’s not a sports arena like in the book, but an actual walled off portion of the city. Julie belongs to this group that the zombie hunting party stumbles upon.

R eats Perry, Julie’s boyfriend. This causes him to develop something of a fondness for Julie so he takes her back to the airport. Along the way, there are a few comical moments. Julie and R get to know each other better. R speaks more and more words each time they talk. This is progress. Finally, it’s determined that Julie has to go back to her dad and the city of survivors. R is kind enough to help her out along the way. Julie goes in by herself and R stays behind. He can’t go back to the airport because the bonies are onto him.

M, R’s friend, and a few other zombies have figured something out. They run away from the bonies as well. They meet R and help him get into the city to see Julie. R wants Julie to know that the zombies are changing.

There are multiple occasions in which R saves Julie and R becomes more human with each scene. The bonies also are still out there and they have to be dealt with.

Ok, so that’s a quick summary without giving too much away.

Let’s pick some bones.

Observations

The movie was cute. It really was. It wasn’t until maybe an hour into the movie that I realized that this was a version of Romeo and Juliet with zombies. The two main characters even have the same initials. The girl is named Julie for crying out loud. I don’t know how I didn’t pick up on that when I was reading the book. There was even a balcony scene, but it was missing all that, “What light breaks through yonder…” stuff.

Julie and R are from two different walks of life that should never mix, logically. Juliette and Romeo were from two different walks of life that could have conceivably mixed just fine, but family pride got in the way. There is that element of family pride in this tale as well. Julie’s father is very prideful and he’s very protective. He’s very set in his ways. I don’t want to alarm you, but there is kind of something akin to a double suicide in this movie. Everyone is fine, but you’ll be able to pick it out.

There is even a nurse. Seriously, how did I not see this?! Nurse Nora. We’ll discuss this further in another post.

Differences

There were a few differences between the movie and the book of course. The movie left out R’s zombie wife, which was a funny part of the book. There were kind of the zombie kids in the background of the movie, but the movie never introduces them as anything. I think it would have been neat to have that relationship in there.

The people lived in a sports arena in the book, not a portion of the city.

Nora was supposed to be black. Even though I like that skinny girl who played Nora, I would have preferred that the casting reflected the book. Also, the whole past that Nora and Julie have in the book is gone from the movie. There is a reason they are such good friends. They have something common that binds them. They have a struggle they had to overcome in the past.

Perry’s father was killed by a falling brick, not any other way.

The bonies were not as big a part of the book as they were in the movie. Sure they were kind of miffed that some of the zombies were healing themselves, but they didn’t go and attack anything.

What  I liked

I’m kind of glad that this was more of a happy zombie movie rather than a terrible zombie movie where everyone is dead. By the way, if you go and see this movie, you will most likely also see the trailer for World War Z while you are there. I do have that book, but I have not read it yet, so I cannot testify to its level of bleakness, but the movie trailer does look pretty bleak. I was very glad that Warm Bodies was not like the World War Z trailer, which for all intents and purposes looks disgusting and will probably have the same feel as War of the Worlds.

I like the idea that the zombies could be cured. It does leave a question though. If you cured a zombie how are they going to be treated for the crimes they committed while zombiefied? If they don’t remember do they get off? If they do remember are charges pressed against them? Do they have to go to court for crimes against humanity? Or are they just assimilated back into society like the former zombie beside you didn’t eat your mother’s brain? I know those question aren’t tackled in this movie, but it might be an interesting idea for a movie one day.

What I didn’t like

In all honesty, the movie is a little slow for a while. There is some action. It’s kind of a romance/zombie/sci-fi/comedy/? movie. I liked it, but I don’t know if that was the wisest combination. I do feel that whoever wrote the screenplay for the movie really beefed up the action scenes. There just weren’t that many in the book.

If the world falls into disarray, why is the main character always depicted as living in a plush house or apartment they never could have had in their former lives pre-disarray? Let me tell you something, survival dictates that you will live in what is easy to maintain and what is defensible, if need be. I find some the digs characters inhabit in these movies to be over the top.

Parental advice

I do caution parents because some of the people eating scenes are kind of gross, otherwise, you can probably take your kids to this movie. There is no nudity. There isn’t a lot of cussing. This is a zombie movie that your kids shouldn’t have nightmares about, but you never know.

 

#244 Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm+BodiesSummary:

I posted the video of the trailer for the upcoming movie Warm Bodies on a previous post I made about World War Z coming out in theaters soon. At the time I did not know that Warm Bodies was based on a book and dare I say, a pretty good book. I don’t know much about Isaac, the author, but he’s in my age group. I’m kind of jealous that he’s already written a book that is being turned into a movie. I need to speed up my editing.

Anyways, the book is actually pretty good, and honestly, I never thought I would say that about a zombie book. I don’t get this whole zombie phenomenon in our  culture these days, but this book is enjoyable.

First off, this book could be a family affair if it lacked some of the grosser language and imagery. I don’t doubt that the movie will probably include some of the bad language and gross imagery, so don’t take your little kids to go see it. The story is actually kind of heart-warming.

So we meet our Zombie, R. Well, he’s not called that yet, but that’s all he’s got. He thinks his name started with an ‘R.’ He lives in an airport with a bunch of other zombies. He has a friend named ‘M.’ They sort of talk together if zombies could talk. It’s mostly one word here or there. Isaac creates this entire zombie culture in this airport. There are two ranks of zombies fleshies and bonies. The bonies aren’t necessarily bad, they’re the oldest of the zombies. All their flesh has worn away and they’re pretty much just walking skeletons. They kind of have the run of the place. The fleshies are the newer zombies, but things have been bad for a while. Rusted cars clog the freeways and buildings decay everywhere. Zombies can’t read so there is no way to know what’s in all the leftover newspapers lying around talking about the world’s doom.

In one scene R finds himself a nice zombie girl. She takes him to zombie church. Yes, the zombies have a church. In a strange and rather simple series of events, they are married. The next day, they get kids, zombie kids. R and the girl have to take the zombie kids to school, yes, the zombies also have a school. In school they learn where to bite people.

Early on we learn that when zombies eat a brain they get a flash of that person’s life. R is kind of upset about the whole getting married thing and drags his friend M out to hunt. They go in one building and they find a small group of people One girl gets away, but two guys and another girl are left. R goes for one guy and his brain is the most vivid thing he has ever eaten. From that brain he learns the remaining girl’s name is Julie. He decides to take her along.

R takes Julie back to the airport. He takes her to his house, he lives in a 747. He shows her his stuff. Yes, surprisingly a zombie has stuff. He has records and a record player. He collects little knick knacks. By being around Julie, R comes to find that he can talk better. He can say more words. Julie is in the airport a few days. When he tries to take her home the bonies get mad. They don’t want her to go home alive. R has to make a break for it and destroys his life in the zombie airport, but the strange thing is, some of the other zombies kind of catch the same thing R has. They start saying more words.

Julie ditches R outside in the city to return to her home in a large sports arena where all the people in the area live. Julie has a rather rocky past. R doesn’t want to let go of her so he makes a plan to get her back. By now some of his other zombie friends have woken up enough to obey orders. They pretend to chase him as he runs towards the entrance. This plan works. R gets into the arena without really a second look. Throughout his friendship with Julie, R’s physical appearance has changed as to be not so zombie-ish.

It’s hard finding Julie in the arena, but he does. He gets to know a little of what it’s like to be human again. He knows that he and his zombie friends are getting better from whatever disease they have, but the people who run the arena won’t acknowledge that anyone is getting better. Julie and R have to convince the people who the zombies are getting better.

What I liked: Besides the language and some of the grosser imagery, I really liked this book. It has pictures from Gray’s Anatomy interspersed throughout its pages. The book does play a part in the book at one point. I really do like how Isaac created this entire culture with the zombies. No one ever thinks about zombies having culture. There are rules seemingly. There are ways of doing things. Each of the zombies, even though they’re zombies, have their own personalities. I like the idea of the zombies going to church and getting married. I find it interesting that Isaac chose for the zombies to hold some semblance of their human lives even in their undead lives.

As I said before, from what I’ve read of the book, this could almost be a family movie. Maybe if you have one of those DVD players that cuts out the dirty words and scenes you can watch this with the whole family when it comes out on DVD. I don’t know if the movie will stay as clean as the book is though. The movie people might dirty it up a bit.

What I didn’t like: I do have a feeling that the movie people have dramatized the story line a bit. From what I watched of the movie trailer it seems that the bonies are pinned as awful terrible bad guys, when in the book, yeah, they’re kind of bad, but they’re not that bad. They’re not the hitlers of the zombie world. It seems the bonies are more like the old crotchety people stuck in their ways more than anything. The real enemy in this story are not the bonies but the ability of both Zombie and human to accept each other as friends rather than enemies.

Overall, if you have a chance to read this book, you should. It was very enjoyable, but like I said before, the imagery may be a little severe to a few of you.