‘Contagion’ is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, a host of other celebrities in a film depicting a worldwide epidemic as the CDC (Center for Disease Control) tries to find a cure. It follows different perspectives of the viruses deadly impact, from a father (Matt Damon) who is immune to the disease but his family is not. You get the perspective of the CDC trying to track and locate the origin of the virus, and the reporting and fear-mongering/suppression done by the media that ultimately made the public distrust the truth, putting the world in mortal danger.
Yep, I’ll admit it, I watched this last night, following reports from the WHO reporting the Coronavirus a global pandemic. I’m a bit morbid when it comes to dealing with scary things. I am also a great big baby. No I wasn’t the one stockpiling TP and hand sanitizer, but I’ve been silently going through anxiety attacks since this flu broke out in Wuhan and reports were coming out about it. What is fascinating about watching ‘Contagion’ during this time is not only to see what looks to be a mirror reflection of how the real world is handling this outbreak. Fear being generated beyond facts– even reality in some cases, will affect everyone in some way or form, and director Stephen Soderbergh does a fantastic job of showing that in this film.
This is a disaster movie that is told in mainly dialogue-driven story. Rather than action set pieces that show all the destruction and mayhem a disaster genre film would be known to show, ‘Contagion’ is about the reaction to the disaster, rather than just showcasing the destruction only. This is the smartest film of this genre I’ve ever watched and there are some great performances attached to it. Matt Damon is great, Kate Winslet and Laurence Fishburne both have excellent chemistry together and I loved their characters dynamic. Jude Law is the only character that feels a bit dated in 2020. He plays a self-proclaimed “blogger” who chants “Print media is dead!” which to me is a kind of worn out trope at this point. It doesn’t take from his performance which also measures up to the main cast.
If there were any issues I had with the movie it would likely be in it’s pacing between each characters story line. I feel like certain character beats were rushed and could’ve been fleshed out a little more, particularly with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow’s characters who I feel have a lot of emotions and things to process that the film kinda has to rush past to set up the rest of the story lines. I also think that the ending while it may answer some questions is ultimately kind of a letdown.
Overall, ‘Contagion’ was a interesting watch in this time, I would recommend it to people who in order to maybe face their anxiety need to see a horror film then check this out. If not, just keep watching the news, because everything seems to be eerily playing out the same.