by Nuha Hassan
Netflix’s Don’t Kill Me starts off with an adrenaline rush as Mirta (Alice Pagani) and her lover Robin (played by Rocco Fasan, or as I like to call him Edward Cullen from Twilight) speed down the road to The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” playing in the background. Mirta is under Robin’s influence and both of them take a drug together, from which they both die due to overdose. Mirta’s parents wish them to be buried next to each other to commemorate their everlasting love. Later, Mirta resurrects and she gets mixed up in the unknown world of cult organisation “the Benedetti” from the 17th century, who are tasked to kill Overdead people just like her. As her body decomposes, she craves both human flesh and Robin’s touch.
Don’t Kill Me claims to be a romantic movie, however, there is not any romance portrayed in the movie. There are several scenes of Mirta desiring Robin and wanting him to return from the dead, as well as flashbacks of the two lovers having sex. Apart from that, Mirta just wanders around, deciding what to do with her new life and decomposing body. A lot of time is spent on Mirta as she crawls and hides from the Benedetti. There isn’t much romantic conflict either, because we don’t see Mirta and Robin’s love affair blossom on screen. What the audience does see is not nearly enough to be convinced of their romance.
There is a moment in the movie that reflects that kind of patriarchal society that young girls face in the world. Mirta is an Overdead, which means that her body decomposes and yet, a man takes the chance to objectify her. It escalates to the point where he tries to take advantage of her. Moreover, the pull of the patriarchy’s darkness is evident throughout the movie. Mirta understands the kind of power she holds as the person she has become, but her life as an Overdead was lonely and she longed to find Robin, who ultimately lied to her about everything.
Don’t Kill Me doesn’t usher in a new era of zombie horror; it's a lacklustre story and performance. The romance between Mirta and Robin is not enough to convince the audience, and it’s a shame because the first half of the movie had potential. Regardless, the movie shows how the world treats women and the reality of it all. Maybe if the movie focused more on the darkness of patriarchy rather than a romance that doesn’t grip the hearts of the audience, the movie would have worked its magic.