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Saturday, October 29, 2011


It’s worth at least a try to watch this surprisingly resonating film.

The epidemic genre is one that may not be for many, and it would be unfair to say that Contagion is an exception, but what can be said is that it’s worth at least a try to watch this surprisingly resonating film.

Contagion is a film that in some ways is worth watching for its cast alone – Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet make up the ensemble. It tells the story of several individuals affected by a worldwide lethal epidemic that spreads within days and kills almost as fast as it grows.
It all begins when a business woman (Paltrow) arrives from a work trip in Hong Kong, and suffers a seizure in her Minneapolis home that quickly leads to her death. Her frustrated husband Mitch (Damon) is in an urgent search for answers, although unaware of the full scope of the events that are about to unravel. It turns out his wife had an aggressive and highly contagious virus that soon spreads out all over the globe. As the crisis becomes evident to the public’s eyes, the government begins a massive operation to search for a cure and keep the public under control. Amongst them, Dr. Ellis Cheever (Fishburne) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Marion Cotillard who plays a World Health Organization worker trying to trace the beginnings of the epidemic, and Kate Winslet in a much too small role as an Epidemic Intelligence Service who investigates the sources of the virus.
This is a film that will stick with you and one that in a couple of years you might actually remember. The tension here is maintained from beginning to end without intermissions or hesitations, and most importantly, you actually care for these characters. The film doesn’t rely solely on suspense to keep the audience hooked, but on actual emotion.
The acting is, as expected, top notch from most sides of the spectrum, even though the writing gives a few of its characters insufficient screen time or a poor story line. Marion Cotillard’s performance is almost a cameo, and Kate Winslet’s character has such a small appearance that it makes you wonder why the filmmaker’s chose her for such a small role. Jude Law’s character is perhaps the one unneeded character in the ensemble, and the character itself isn’t aided by his predictable performance.
There is no doubt that what makes Contagion memorable is how well it establishes an atmosphere of suffocation, claustrophobia, suspense, and paranoia. It’s a silent killer, one that may go by unnoticed by some moviegoers but that will strike those who are curious enough to see it.