Directed by Jonathan Levine, ‘Warm Bodies’ is a horror comedy film starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer in the lead roles. The 2013 movie follows the uncanny love story between R, a zombie who is attracted to Julie, a human he encounters during a food hunt. It provides viewers with a look at the humanity within a zombie with shades of Shakespeare interspersed with its heartfelt story. As a result, viewers must be curious to learn whether R’s pursuit of love and Julie in ‘Warm Bodies’ ends in success or tragedy. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Warm Bodies Plot Synopsis
‘Warm Bodies’ follows R (Nicholas Hoult), one of the many zombies populating the world after an unknown virus led to the collapse of human society. The zombies usually wander around in packs and search for human flesh, their food source. The zombies who have completely set aside their human traits are known as Boneys, who are reduced to merely walking skeletons but are considered more dangerous than the regular zombies. R explains that the zombies have some human tendencies left in them, and eating human brains reminds them of being alive. Nonetheless, like R, most zombies rarely spurt out some words and do not remember their past lives.
R wanders around into an unknown part of the airport where he lives with the rest of his pack, including M (Rob Corddry), his presumed best friend. One day, R encounters a group of humans led by Julie Grigio (Teresa Palmer) in search of leftover medical supplies at the airport. Most of Julie’s friends are killed during the ensuing scuffle with R’s pack. R kills Julie’s boyfriend, Perry (Dave Franco), and eats his brain. As a result of seeing Perry’s memories, R senses Perry’s love for Julie, prompting R to save Julie from the zombies. R masks Julie’s scent and takes her away from the horde of zombies.
R hides Julie in an abandoned airplane, which he uses as a shelter. Julie is initially skeptical of R’s actions, given the traumatic experiences Perry suffered because of zombies. She tries to escape, but her attempt fails, causing R to find and rescue her. As a result, she quickly warms up to R when she realizes he is harmless and actually cares about keeping her safe. R convinces Julie that she must stay hidden until it is safe to return home. As a result, R gets to spend more time with Julie and learns about her life in the walled-off human enclave led by her father, Colonel Grigio.
R’s heart soon starts beating, and he dreams and forms coherent sentences, all traits commonly absent from zombies like him. However, Julie gets restless and tries to return to the human enclave. She runs into a horde of zombies led by M and is once again saved by R. He decides to take Julie home but reveals that he killed Perry. A disappointed Julie abandons R and returns home alone. A heartbroken R returns to the airport and reunites with M, who reveals the other zombies also show signs of life, making them a target for the Boneys. As a result, R must find a way to end the conflict between humans and zombies to allow a chance for civilization to return.
Warm Bodies Ending: Do R and Julie End Up Together?
During the movie’s final act, R travels to the human enclave to reunite with Julie. R realizes that he might be able to save the zombies and wants to share the information with Julie. Meanwhile, Julie tells her friend, Nora, about her experiences with R and misses him. Soon R manages to evade the security and makes his way to Julie’s house. Standing under her balcony in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, R calls out to Julie to reveal the truth about the change in the zombies. As a result, Julie decides to share the news with her father, the unreasonable Colonel Grigio.
Julie and Nora put makeup on R to give him a human appearance and enter Colonel Grigio’s base. However, they learn that the military is preparing for a fight against the zombies as a horde led by the Boneys approaches the enclave. Julie tells Colonel Grigio about the change in the zombies, introducing R as evidence of the same. However, Colonel Grigio is unimpressed, and attempts to shoot R. Nora intervenes and holds Colonel Grigio at gunpoint, allowing R and Julie to escape. R is determined to save his zombie friends from the war with humans and the impending face-off with the Boneys. The climax sees R and Julie trapped inside a building as a horde of Boneys attacks them.
With nowhere left to run, R jumps into the pool down below with Julie in his arms. R protects Julie from the Boneys, seemingly subdued by Colonel Grigio’s forces. Meanwhile, R and Julie emerge from the pool and passionately kiss, proclaiming their love for each other. However, Colonel Grigio arrives on the scene and shoots R. Just when it seems like R’s story will end tragically, the bullet wound causes the zombie to bleed, which convinces Colonel Grigio that the zombies can change back into humans. Ultimately, R and Julie’s resilience pays off, and they end up together despite coming from radically different backgrounds. The several allusions to William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ only prove to be a red-herring for a tragedy that never occurs as the movie ends with R and Julie receiving their happy ending.
Are the Zombies Cured?
The movie takes place in a world where an unknown virus caused a plague that rendered most of the human population as animated corpses. For almost eight years, humans believed the zombies were incurable and had given up hope of finding a cure. Instead, they focused simply on surviving the zombie apocalypse. In the opening moments, it is implied that humans had grown distant from each other in the past while R ponders about the possible causes of the zombie apocalypse.
The film goes to great lengths to establish that zombies are conflicted about eating human flesh. This hint of humanity within the zombie expands as the narrative progresses and is catalyzed by R’s feelings for Julie. It is implied that seeing their photos sparked the change in other zombies who were reminded of their human side. Ultimately, the zombies and humans join forces, inspired by R and Julie. The closing epilogue states that humans and zombies successfully defeated the Boneys, who were killed or starved to death.
The final moments of ‘Warm Bodies’ show the zombies assimilating to life as humans while the wall, which was the symbol of the divide between humans and zombies, is broken down. Thus, the movie ends with the zombies cured of the virus through the simplicity of the human ability to love and form meaningful connections with each other. R and Julie’s relationship is representative of the same, and they are solely responsible for bringing about the positive change that alters humanity’s fate.
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