Warm Bodies: Movie vs Novel

So, I think everyone knows the new movie that’s out in theaters called “Warm Bodies.” I went backwards (so out of my character) and saw the movie first before I read the book. Quite a weird thing for me…

But anyway, I bought the book yesterday and finished it today, and I figured I should compare the two, eh?


I don’t think I’ll ever read the book so soon after I watch the movie ever again. Or vice versa, rather. The movie, for once, was practically spot on with everything the book has. I actually felt like I was watching the movie again from all the similarities, although of course there are some minor differences.

So, let me first say I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was cute, sweet, and although predictable I enjoyed it. Plus I got to stare at this face most the time…

Nicholas_Shergill4Drama1*swoons and drools with happy face* 🙂 granted, I know he looks like this in the movie…

130203-warm-bodies-600-1359923802But I’m willing to look past his Zombie-ness and see his gorgeousness. Aaaaah *swoons again*

Anyway, getting off track.

Reading the novel second was an interesting aspect, quite different; not my usual strategy. Oh well, we all have to try something new! So, as for the writing, I thought it was fine. Based on the character in the movie, R, I thought he’d be funnier as a narrator in the book. Boy, was I wrong.

In the beginning, of course, I saw his humor. Along the way there are some side comments, but overall his persona was entirely different. In the movie I saw R as someone trying to understand, someone somewhat confused by his love for Julie. However, in the book, he was a much deeper character that was trying SO hard to keep a hold of his sanity. He wanted so badly to be better and become better with Julie, and his emotions were so much deeper in the book itself.

The writing itself in the book was fine. Some scenes went too slowly for me, but overall it went okay. Oh, and on the other hand, I felt like some scenes were a bit awkward in dialogue. Granted, maybe a human and zombie talking with one another is supposed to be awkward…

Anyway, time to compare the movie to the book.

-Overall I think the overall spirit was captured from book to movie. As I said before, the beginning of the book was practically spot on with every single scene that took place and was translated to the screen. For that I was thankful, although it made reading the scenes a bit drab since I just recently saw the film. Not the writer’s fault, but mine 🙂 As it went on, however, I could see entirely different motives transpire in the plot, which actually confused me. I was like, “wtf? this isn’t right…” but then I realized: “duh, I’m reading what actually happened. it’s the movie that lied.” Silly me. Those points will be covered below.

-R has a wife and kids in the book. At least in the beginning. I can see why this was left out in the movie, considering there wasn’t too big of a purpose of these characters in the overall story. The wife zombie was just a foil to Julie, giving an example of what love really is in their world. I’m fine with those aspects being cut out of the movie.

-The Boneys (spelling?) had a higher power in the book than the movie, like some kind of weird zombie monarchy. It was clearly shown that these guys ruled the others, while in the movie they just seemed like zombies too far gone to even be saved. This monarchy was only slightly shown in the movie when they were kicking the other zombies out and ran out to hunt down R. At least that plot point wasn’t missed.

-The plot point with Perry is pretty much ignored in the movie. Sad face 😦 It was really interesting to see this relationship with R and Perry in the book. For those of you who didn’t read, Perry is the guy that R killed, who was Julie’s boyfriend. In the novel it was really interesting to see Perry practically live through R in his daydreams and his thoughts at moments of high stress or when R tries to sleep. I’m sad this wasn’t in the movie. That was a really interesting aspect of R as a person.

-The book and movie practically go hand in hand until R sneaks into the city of the living. He finds Julie, la la la, and then that’s where motives become different. In the movie she wants to immediately show him to her father, but that’s far from the case in the book. R wants a tour of the city, they go on one (which, by the way, in the book there’s a long history with her mother that was left out in the movie), and R bites a guard because they were about to find him out. This causes the other guards to become aware of him, and that’s when Julie wants to get out of the city. Totally different than the movie. Speaking of different, it gets a whole lot weirder…

-R takes the fall just like in the movie, but it’s when they’re escaping the city. And he lands on concrete, not in water. At this point he’s still a zombie, not yet bleeding.

-R and Julie end up coming back because boneys are after them, and that’s when the plot goes all out of whack in differences…

-R and Julie kiss, her dad gets all furious and freaks out wanting to shoot them, and then after some physical fighting he ends up dangling on the side of the roof. A boney gets him and bites into him, and they both fall off the roof and to the stadium ground. The dad dies, and Julie figures out R is finally bleeding from a head wound she caused him weeks ago, and not from a bullet wound. And I’m like…..HOLY S%*&@. Huge difference in an ending there! Why the big change in the movie?

-At the end it gets similar again, where the living cautiously reproach the dead to try and cure them. Both the movie and book are the same in this respect, and R keeps his name the same as well. Just R. In the book he has more of a reason for this, where he feels as though this is the life he wants, and the past life he had no longer matters, and the name he used to have doesn’t matter either. New name, new beginning. I liked that aspect in the book.

Overall the movie did well adapting from the book. Some plot points I’m fine without, but others I’m wondering why there was such a drastic change.

I did, however, really enjoy this quote in the book. Enjoy 🙂

“I look into Julie’s face. Not just at it, but into it. Every pore, every freckle, every faint gossamer hair. And then the layers beneath them. The flesh and bones, the blood and brain, all the way down to the unknowable energy that swirls in her core, the life force, the soul, the fiery will that makes her more than meat, coursing through every cell and binding them together in millions to form her. Who is she, this girl? What is she? She is everything. Her body contains the history of life, remembered in chemicals. Her mind contains the history of the universe, remembered in pain, in joy and sadness, hate and hope and bad habits, every thought of God, past-present-future, remembered, felt, and hoped for all at once.

‘What do we do?’ she pleads…’What do we have left?’

I have no answer for her. But I look into her face, her pale cheeks, her red lips bright with life and tender as an infant’s, and I understand that I love her. And if she is everything, maybe that’s answer enough.

I pull Julie into me and kiss her.” (p.223)

Keep reading, and keep watching those movie adaptations 🙂

-Sara R.


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