Sunday, June 18, 2023

Becoming a zombie, one day at a time: A Kazuo Ishiguro depiction from Living (2022 film)

This is how Mr. Williams (Bill Nighy), a senior bureaucrat, narrates how he came to live like a zombie to his former colleague Miss Harris (Aimée Lou Wood). This Kazuo Ishiguro script from the film Living (2022) reads more like a poem.

What was your name for me?

Mr. Zombie, I wasn’t always

When I was your age what

I wanted was to be a gentleman


Nothing grand, just a rank-and-file

Gentleman, wearing a suit and a hat


Life just crept up on me

One day proceeding the next


Small wonder I didn’t notice

What I was becoming

Then I looked at you, and I remembered

what it was like to be alive 


You may not be wanting to be a gentleman. But it could be “a successful person”, “a leader”, “a famous person” or even “an enlightened person”. The burden of becoming can be very heavy. Watch out, you might actually become what you wanted. And also turn into a zombie.

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