Daydream Sanctuary Features

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

[Movie] Contagion - Nothing Spreads Like Fear


Contagion
of Warner Bros. Pictures
Directed by Steven Soderbergh and Written by Scott Burns
CDC: There's a lethal virus that's been killing millions of people across the world.
Public: Have you found a cure?
CDC: No. We don't even know what is it.
Public: How could we prevent it?
CDC: Wash your hands and... don't let yourself be touched.
* CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SETTING:
Various Countries on Earth. Contemporary.
ELEMENTS:
Virus. Disease. Vaccine. Epidemic.
GENRE:
Medical. Political. Social. Thriller. Suspense. Mystery.
DEMOGRAPHIC:
Adult.
RATING:
B+ (IMPRESSIVE!)

FAVORITISM:
3 Hearts ---> LIKE

There is no need for zombies and bloodshed to make.... a good and terrifying disaster thriller~

Without leaning too heavily on the obvious, "Contagion" evokes memories of the bafflement and the sense of outrage and helplessness that greeted the H.I.V. and Ebola viruses, in the nineteen-eighties, and the swine-flu scare a few years back. Soderbergh could have pumped up the horror, turning the material into a “World of the Living Dead,” with disintegrating near-zombies lurching everywhere, but doing the story straight makes it scarier than any amount of trashily morbid movie spectacle. (1)
 
The movie plays on a number of different perspectives: the "average Joe" coping with the outbreak and keeping his family safe, the CDC and government trying to combat the disease, the hysterical public clamoring for any hope, and a conspiracy theorist working his own angles. (2) But despite the variation, most people had one common reaction to the virus outbreak: Fear.



The movie has so many remarkable characters; their respective actors/actresses have portrayed them well. Where this movie excels is showing the human side of these varying roles, and how each type of person handles themselves and the ones they love. (2) The technical terms make it seem more of a medical film, but it has been more of a sociological documentary. My favorite character in the film is the blogger, Alan Krumwiede. He demonstrated the power of social networking and the dangers of panicking on such an epidemic. The dude's got extraordinary guts; I like him~


Contagion is a highly controlled film about an out-of-control event, a film so sure-handed and intelligent that it has an invigorating, even an enlightening, quality, as if a blurred picture had suddenly come into focus. (1) It is understated and filled with great moments of real human drama, laced with some scary real-life possibilites. Contagion is so well done that it is hard to take your eyes off of it. You could even call it "powerful" and mean it. (3)

People interested in virology or microbiology would most likely understand it better, but you don't really need to understand much of biology to appreciate it. But for those who look forward to seeing the usual action-packed, drama-filled, and gore-crazy apocalyptic thriller, this type of movie will most likely be something considered as "boring".


Notes:
(1) Quoted from The New Yorker
(2) Quoted from Chad's Review
(3) Quoted from Digital Trends
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