Contagion – Movie Review

movie reviewI actually planned to see this while it was in theaters. I did not make it and kind of regret it. It’s a very good movie! I recently read that ‘insert random celebrity name here’ tweeted: “it’s not wise to show this movie on an airplane flight program!”. And yes, after seeing the movie, I can completely understand that statement.

Most of you surely know what the story of the movie is. And honestly… it’s not original. But that’s not what the movie wants to be. The focus is on realism. And that is what sells this movie. It really is realistic. And by that I mean the whole political, scientific aspects as well as the normal people. The scenario as a whole. We get insights international affairs right down to the personal and family related events where people try to cope with the loss of family members. The movie manages it to keep a very good balance, with all the little stories and characters. It’s all connected in some way.

The cast consists of the best that you can get nowadays. All characters had a suitable actor playing them. All of them were pretty much top notch and delivered that too. The characters in that film have to make some really important and hard decisions and it needed actors who can transport the heavy lifting to the audience. All of them managed to do that fine. Good work on that end. By the actors and the casting department.

The movie itself is filmed in an almost documentary style. Almost like all the ‘What If! Earth without people!’ pseudo documentaries that popped up the last couple of years. Of course the movie made all this much more engaging. The characters early on manage to captivate you and make you want to know how it all ends. In some cases it does not end well. In other cases you never know.

I also want to highlight the writing for the movie. The story involves tons of characters, spread throughout the whole planet. The writing held it all together. I never had the feeling I would miss something, because of jumpy cuts, from one place to another. The movie also has a day counter going. The fascinating thing is that we first see day 1 at the end of the movie. The actual story starts with day 2. I found that a good decision that I really appreciated.

On a technical level, the camera is always out to show the audience, how easy a potential virus can spread in todays globalization. When the story leads us into laboratories you always wait for something to happen. That some protection suit gets a hole or some scientist does something stupid. But that never happened. They avoided that cliche and that’s another point for realism. The movie definitely is no Hollywood kaboom! Dustin Hoffman ‘Outbreak’ thing. It’s a quiet movie. It wants to tell the audience something. Without distracting from the message. What is that message?

I think the message is clear. We, as the human race, shouldn’t feel too safe! There is enough unexplored nature left to remove us from the face of the earth. Especially when coincidence comes into play. And… well… maybe that wouldn’t be too bad, for the good of the planet. If something, like the movie’s scenario will happen, we don’t have the best chances.


Contagion on IMDb

Leave a Reply