Thursday, 15 September 2011

Contagion Review

Contagion is a film about America’s reaction to a deadly virus-borne disease that spreads within days.  A film by Steven Soderbergh (the maker of Ocean’s trilogy and Oscar nominated Traffic), staring Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Ehle and Gwyneth Paltrow.


The script was good and did not make the movie boring or monotonous. The reactions of the people were well depicted. And there was a perfect balance between medical research and political reactions.  One could see the research done in order to present the situation on screen.

The intro of the film was very strong. The focus on things that you touch - the glass, doorknobs, poles in the bus, etc. - that would lead to the spread of the virus helped build the tension. 

The movie very interestingly starts from Day 2 of the infection and you wonder where is Day 1? Well it comes at the end when the inception of the virus comes into picture.

The cast was carefully chosen, I must say.  The acting was different from the typical larger than life Hollywood characters. The characters looked real, panicked and sometimes overreacted in situations that they faced.  However, more was expected of Matt Damon, he was a bit of disappointment. It was not a movie for his fans, as he looked fat, old and had a very limited role. The rest five roles were very interesting especially of Dr. Ellis Cheever played by Laurence Fishburne.

The dialogues were serious but amusing at the same time, especially the ones used by Jude Law or at him.


More was expected from the film, as it suddenly jumped from Day 31 to Day 131, from the time the vaccine is tested to the time it comes to the markets.
Also since the movie talked about the effect of the virus on the world in, I felt covering Europe, India, Australia etc. was needed.  The research conducted by countries apart from America was not included at all.

In a scene where Marion Cotillard reviews the footage of the Casino visited by Gwyneth Paltrow (Mrs. Emhoff) just before contracting the disease comprised of different cuts and angles which are not possible from the CCTV perspective.

The movie had a lot of potential to be edited in a non-linear manner since a lot was going on at the same time. But I guess the makers were afraid of taking the risk.

The Verdict

I won’t call the movie a must-watch but I would still recommend it for one time watch. It gives us a break from the usual over the top Hollywood cinema that we are used to see, without making it look like a documentary.

Acting and Cast : 9/10
Script : 8/10
Direction : 7/10
Cinematography : 6/10
Editing : 6/10


My Experience

Well I won’t categorize this film as a Thriller or Action (that I saw on the poster at the theater) but rather Horror and Drama.  For me fear does not arise from ghosts but real life situations that were depicted in the film.
When I came out of the theater, I was happy that I was not in the U.S. and nobody around me was coughing.

I wasn’t really happy with disclosing the event that lead to the birth of the virus on Day 1. I think it would have been left open.

No comments:

Post a Comment