Welcome to Zombieland – not as the name of the movie, but as a world with is not only a “zomcom” like Go Goa Gone, or “romcom” like all those pathetic movies which have eaten the brains of Bollywood and still continues to do so; for this one from Hollywood is everything at once, “zomcom”, “romcom”, “zomrom”, or even “zomromcom”. This movie is a pleasant surprise, in a world where teenagers wish to lose their humanity and be the Twilight vampires, this one comes up with something different. It is the story of a zombie who reclaims his humanity, and leads to a transformation among his own zombie people. The first question that should come to one’s mind is about how much it would work in a world of movies and literature where the vampires are glorified, and the werewolves are also given their due with the cross-connections (thanks Underworld and Twilight), and zombies are still shot on the heads with no hesitation. As the question remains about this prejudice, this movie comes with a pleasant surprise which reverses both the zombie situation as well as the supernatural glorification giving the world back to humans. There might still be no zombie wishing for a human to bite them and turn them human, but as we have seen in Daybreakers, there is always the scope to try the reverse transformation.
There is the direct, secure packing and sending of the viewers into a post-apocalyptic world instead of any explanation of what caused the same, which is actually a good movie, as there are always the logic-seekers who would find something wrong in turning these zombies into human. The human survivors who keeps getting lesser in numbers have retreated and have barricaded themselves inside a walled area surrounded by our dear little protagonist zombie and his friends. Most of them are still in comparatively human phase compared to the horrid skeletal structures called Boneys attacking anything that lives, which they become after they lose all hopes (another moment of reminder about Daybreakers, where vampires degenerate into subsiders, the psychotic bat-like creatures). So when the zombies increase in population to infect most of the world and the human supplies get low; Julie Grigio (Teresa Palmer) and her trained friends go out to the zombie world to get something from the abandoned buildings. They are attacked by a group of zombies, but she is saved by R (Nicholas Hoult), a zombie who narrates to us, and from whose angle we see the world (not before he eats her boyfriend’s brain though).
So, this R who has been trying quite hard to seem more and more human, has now a girl with brain for company; a brain he doesn’t want to chew on. He keeps her safe in a permanently grounded airplane and the bond makes him move even further towards humanity. Affected by the fact that R killed her boyfriend, the girl of brain leaves the brain eater and manages to reach home safely. But the problem remains that the whole thing has caused such a chain reaction in the zombie society that more of them seem to show the signs of humanity including R’s best zombie friend M. But the Boneys seem to detect this life and is all set to attack both the remaining zombies with their superior strength, agility and the lack of humanity. It is up-to R to get to the human world and find the girl, along with using all the memories from that brain of her boyfriend which he has been chewing on for quite a while. As vampires and zombies are practically the same, and there has been quite a lot of popularity for Twilight, this should have been received better, but these coffin-less, fang-less poor corpses haven’t got the attention they deserved in this part of the world, and it is our supernatural duty to give it to them. I would believe that there are many different ways to read this movie. [Preachy-philosophical stuff ahead: Uninterested people are expected to skip to the third-last line of the last paragraph after the next].
✠ As the reversal of situation: It is the reversal of the vampire addiction and the overdose of humanity in vampire fiction. As the zombies have been portrayed as the most mindless attackers even in the recent World War Z as well as in the collection of Resident Evil movies and games, this could inject an amount of thoughts which might make people value their human existence. Daybreakers couldn’t achieve this and there was no attempt either, as the vampires were more powerful, intelligent and also always winning. Teresa Palmer has looked more like a blonde Kristen Stewart throughout the movie and there are times when she sounded similar enough, but this is undoubtedly better characterization and a better performance in a well created movie. This character is surely one of brains, and not Bella, and can thus create a good replacement for her, and surely there are expressions – the character doesn’t fall for the supernatural like Bella did, as she is clever enough to value her humanity, and neither does she asks him to turn her into a zombie; may be she realizes how gorgeous she is too. Nicholas Hoult’s R is a more hardworking type of undead, even as this one also worries incredibly about keeping his girlfriend safe. When blood-drinking is replaced with brain-eating, there is another psychological impact which brings people back to their human nature.
✠ The old Shakespare and the Fairy Tale: The R should surely stand for Romeo and Julie for the one Juliet, with forbidden love set in motion. R just remembers the first letter of his name, and the lady can surely use a “T” if needed. They do see each other by the balcony, and trust me, there is no sad ending this time. In one way, it is the drama of the dead and in another way, this is the fairy tale of the dead/undead. There has been so much the need for the superman and the knight in shining armour that here, the need to be alive takes that place, and the need to have a beautiful girl with brains. This tale involves the brain used for thinking instead of satisfying the hunger, and the drams taking over the void initiated by one huge nightmare. It is up-to the zombies to connect with the human world, as the humans would do about the Supreme Being, and the ones who give up the hope and belief would be left with their skeletal structures, with no faith and no real life. There is always the hope for a better place, and for the zombies, humanity is one of them, and one man-zombie gets connected to that world by chance.
✠ When most of us are zombies: The middle group represents most of us, when we move on through life doing what the others, the zombie friends do; when we join the course they join, and when we study what we don’t want to study, and live a life of survival which everybody does. But when we choose to be different, we are the zombies for the others, and in our own point of view, we are the chosen ones to be alive. We are not them, and what they feel important can’t be of any significance to us, and vice versa. R became alive when he chose to be different, and one has to wonder if he is one of those people who had chosen to pursue arts instead of the professional courses, and made him realize how important it is to be different, and how much is there to know and understand instead of feeding on those brains symbolizing logic. He understood what creativity is, and its pure awesomeness above logic. It is choosing that good path to be different that matters, and for all the others who take that different evil path, there is the world of the walking skeletons. The advantage of this gained humanity is that one would know its value and it won’t be wasted on anything silly. It is our choice, and out of the knowledge of the Supreme Being, and the world would become more of truth and wisdom. The opportunity to reclaim the lost humanity is to be embraced.
✠ The value of humanity and faith: By the end of the movie, it is the human contact and never ending faith that saves the day. There is always the need to take that leap of faith at some point of life, and the strong belief in God and being humane are all that matters. If a zombie could go beyond his needs and prevent himself from devouring what he needed for diets, where does the humanity lie? Does the zombie’s need to feed strike lower than the human need for war and destruction? When an undead creature could come up with so much faith, why is it that humans fail miserably? This is where the questions begin and answers hide behind the bushes. The movie might not interest those who are looking for quick undead action, but this clever twist to the old myth of undead is a must watch for all those who feel like a zombie, or has the desire to see humanity in action at its base level in the most humane way. After watching this movie, some of you might surely hesitate a second before shooting an undead during the next zombie apocalypse. From what this movie has achieved, that much I am sure about; the rest is for you to decide.
Release date: 1st February 2013
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, Cory Hardrict, John Malkovich
@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.