The survivors Jim met after his coma are Mark and Selena but later Mark was killed by Selena because he’s bitten and infected during a fight with zombies in Jim's house where they went for Jim's request of seeing if his parents were alive. But they had eaten pills to suicide and left a note to Jim on which they wrote about their despair of the hopeless and collapsing civilization.

They’re attacked due to Jim’s candle light in the night for watching photos reminiscent of his past family memory. So we can say Jim caused Mark’s infection. But, Selena is the person who killed Mark just because of suspicious. Jim asked her how was she sure Mark was infected? Selena answered that she would also kill Jim if he might have been infected, “in a heartbeat”. Never hesitate.

In the later plot, the director is talking about the gradual loss of hope and humanity, along with the devastation by virus. The military, government, and all society are stepping to ruins. And Danny Boyle conceived audience of Selena’s change by Hannah and her father Frank.

Danny Boyle didn’t put more and more blood subsequent to their meet, but more about their interaction with sense of humor such as their happy shopping in empty supermarket. He focuses on the people more than terror. Terror is necessary only to support the story. Otherwise, the audience will shortly get used to the blood. It’s hard to fright modern audience only by effect.

Who had lost his hope to the world, hope of humanity? And who still keep it? It’s also a question for Jim who had stroke an infected boy to death with blank face unmercifully. When they still despaired of the empty military base, Frank was infected. And the military showed up at this moment but shot Frank to death at Jim’s hesitation. Are the military really their savior?

Obviously “future” which the commander gave his soldiers is an excuse for satisfaction of their monstrous sexual desire. They all had given up their conscience except one who protected them but executed with Jim later. Jim escaped. Thus far the movie is not just a simple terror zombie and has accumulated enough conflict about fear of virus, and fear of “human” as well.

The last extremely excellent dramatic scene rendered kind of crash of humanity by a series of bloody, violent, terrible fights. But the metaphors are not given abruptly but have brewed since the beginning. What we saw is not only a world crumbled by the virus but by primitive human nature.

Apparently, director deliberately makes Jim looked as zombie or kind of crazy monster, and when he killed the soldier who grabbed Selena in cruel way-he pressed his eyeballs into skull, Selena almost cannot tell whether Jim’s infected and intends to slash him. She held the same weapon she killed Mark, a machete.

She didn’t. She still keeps her trust of Jim, and her humanity.

Jim said “It’s longer than a heartbeat”. And the name of the passionate post-rock music within this whole violent process is “in the house, in a heartbeat”, which strengthens this passage’s dramatic power.

03/09/2011 Milstein
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