Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Warm Bodies Teaches Us Theology of The Body

Possible spoiler alerts!!

This zombie movie is absolutely wonderful because it teaches through using the analogy of zombies as our own impeding deaths due to our disconnection from one another and with our design of our bodies.  We are made for connection, we are made for union and communion and this movie shouts this out using this current craze of Zombie Apocalypse as a modality of entertainment.   This movie teaches theology of the body, our body speaks a language and a zombie body tells us that when we are disconnected from one another, when we use others for our own selfish needs, we are dead.  When we connect we begin to live, our design reveals our creators intentions, union and communion.  

This movie uses so many examples to reveal this truth.  At one point we even see the main character walk past a wall display of the evolution of man showing how we have "evolved" from an animal.  This of course reveals once again to the viewer that we are called to be more than animals, we were made for greatness. 

The movie begins with the lead character, a Zombie feeling "unconnected".  As he starts out desiring connection, he begins to wonders how awesome it must  have been before the apocalypse when people connected to one another.  The movie then flashes back to before the apocalypse and shows a scene in the same airport in which he know finds himself walking and we the audience see the world as it is today, disconnected as we are all on our digital devices, surfing the internet, listening to music or playing some kind of virtual game.  

The Zombie, named R...monologues with inner dialogue about how he wonders why he cannot connect with others then realizes, "oh ya...I'm dead"
He has taken over an empty airplane and listens to records like Bob Dylan and Guns and Roses. He and his "best friend" another zombie he groans with at a bar in the airport, walk into town to get something to eat (yes, you guessed it..the living) he makes several jokes about how slow they are and finally he arrives to the place he meets "her".

Upon seeing her he is smitten in fact, his heart beats as if human connection re-ignites his heart. For so long he existed in solitude and now, seeing her a spark hits him and we see his heart pump showing us that connection of man and woman gives purpose and life.

He helps her escape (not before eating the brains of her boyfriend Perry. This is done because it allows the zombie to experience human connection as the memories  of the deceased are experienced in a living dream experience for the zombie ). It should be noted that this scene really reveals how we long for and ache to fill the void inside of us meant for human connection because ultimately it is supposed to point us like an icon to God.  The only thing a zombie has that can even remotely resemble connection is the eating of brains because the life experiences of the person they are eating are experienced in doing so.  It fills that deep hunger and longing and while it fills and satisfies the hunger, the joy and ecstasy comes with it of feeling and experiencing the human connections of the persons life.  The people they loved, the dreams they had and so much more.  This is the only way a zombie can connect, it is a counterfeit, but it is all they have so they seek out more and more persons to consume, trying to fill the hunger and longing inside of them.  They continue to decay and eventually become "bonies" which are zombies that are much like demons in that they are not even covered in flesh, they are at the point of no return and in fact now hate anything resembling connection.  

After "R" sees Julie (the love interest of R) music plays and his heart beats in chest, just once, but enough to show us that he is changing.  To escape being eaten, R helps Julie to pretend she is a zombie and he covers her in the stink of dead blood. He teaches her to pretend to be a zombie to hide her and through their time together he continues a slow metamorphosis back to life.

She comes to care for him as well and tries to take him to her father to show him (he kills zombies) that they are curing themselves. In fact they are not curing themselves but rather human connection and the relationship witnessed by other zombies between her and Z causes their own hearts to begin beating by witnessing them holding hands. Their body speaks a language and the zombies understand it is a sign of purpose and meaning. They begin to stare at pictures on the wall of couples holding hands.

I don't want to spoil it all but I will say that in a scene where R gives himself as a free total and faithful gift, by wrapping himself around her to jump from a building to save her using himself as a shield for her...the fruit is witnessed in an almost baptismal scene and he is created anew and we see it.  The next scene is even more amazing as she too then makes a sacrifice and faces her own fears for love.

This is a treasure trove of teaching on love and our call to union and communion. The zombies are an analogy of so many who are dead to this truth, that seek the counterfeit and feed on what they think numbs the pain or gives them pleasure rather than ultimate fulfillment.

I definitely recommend this movie but go and see it and talk about it using the lens of Theology of The Body! 

1 comment:

christina king said...

@WarmBodies #WarmBodies