“Contagion” follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.
REVIEW: In the world of cinema there are scary movies and then there are scary movies. This is a scary movie. Not like your bash ‘em, slash ‘em, blood and gore Halloween specials but more like your 2012, I Am Legend, Day After Tomorrow type stuff where the tragedy is a little more down to earth, pun intended. And even so, this movie is different from those as well in that this one takes the realism up a notch and that’s where the scariness comes in. It is so realistic that you might take it as a prediction that includes every detail as to how it would pan out in the world in which we live. From the onset of the disease to how quickly and easily it could spread throughout the world. From the people in charge trying to get a handle on it and decide the best course of action to the regular folk reaching a point of madness, desperation, and paranoia. When it gets to that point, when it’s all about basic survival, then there is a complete global decay of social order and structure. This movie explores all of this and it paints a clear picture of this interpretation of how it would all come to pass and more. It demonstrates the fragility of life and at the same time how life does go on, no matter how difficult, for those that remain alive. This film is fast paced (similar to the speed of the virus spreading) but sad and depressing. It is not for the faint of heart or especially anyone who suffers from hypochondria. A small percentage of you might actually develop hypochondria after watching the film. I noticed a few times during the film that the theater was about as silent as I’ve ever heard a theater be. It is that impacting and I predict an increase in hand sanitizer sales. An interesting aspect of the movie as it pans the globe is that it shows the general population figures of several major cities. It is sobering to see a number of potential victims that an occurrence like this could affect.
Needless to say, the heavyweight cast does a fine job with this production even though, for the most part, they are shadowed by the story. The roles for most of them are a lot smaller than what you’d hope for but still effective as you would expect from these big name performers. The one that surprised me the most was Jennifer Ehle, probably because I haven’t seen enough of her work. Her performance was captivating. I enjoyed watching Kate Winslet as well as she delivered a sharp performance. The interesting thing about the cast of characters is that they represent many different walks of life which give many different perspectives on this crisis. Even though the story is the strongest aspect of this film, the climax is a little anti-climactic, or at least the way it is presented. Regardless, Steven Soderbergh is a director who knows what he’s doing. This might not be his best work, but it fits nicely in his collection. This movie is well made and worthy of being watched but if you decide to watch it make sure you’re in the right frame of mind.
By Cine Marcos
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