Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands often: they are commands so elementary they become common sense. But what happens when these simple efforts are no match for an undiscovered dis– ease overtaking the majority of the human race with no known cure?
“Contagion,” which was released Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, depicts the horror and possibility of a worldwide virus killing off most of the population one touch at a time. The film boasts an all-star cast including Matt Da– mon, Marion Cotillard Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and Laurence Fishburne, to name a few.
Beginning with the deaths of the first two people infected, the movie depicts the urgency of doctors, health agencies like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and epidemiologists working diligently and vigorously to find a cure or vaccine. It centers primarily on the husband— Matt Damon’s character—and stepdaughter of the first victim, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and their struggle to find answers and keep healthy as long as possible. “The average person touches their face three to five times every waking minute,” according to Kate Winslet’s character, Dr. Erin Mears. “In between, we’re touch- ing doorknobs, water fountains, and each other.” This fact among many others stated in the film describe how quickly a virus with this sort of strength can multiply and spread. The worsening conditions and declining population are vividly painted through horrific images of hurting families and rows after row of sick beds. Shockingly, over a billion people worldwide contract the disease and die within all three months.
Headed up by Steven Soderbergh, who famously di– rected the “Ocean’s” movies and “Erin Brockovich,” the film cuts deeply into the nerves and arouses the subcon– scious thoughts of possible, total human annihilation that everyone possesses.
What’s worse? This stuff could really happen.
I saw the movie opening night, and ev– eryone in the theater felt the exact same way I did when it was over—thoroughly creeped out. However, I was actually surprised at how well it turned out. Even the music—and some- times lack thereof—added significant damage to my mind. Every cough I reluctantly surren– dered during the movie made me wonder,
“Am I next?”
What brings out the horror side of this flick is that feeling of “you can run, but you can’t hide”—a personal fear I have, which made it even harder to swallow. With most of the globe infested with the disease, the only place to take shelter is their own homes.
After seeing the movie, even members of the CDC were complimentary of the film’s accuracy and head-on depiction of a world in crisis. Considering that the CDC approves of a pandemic possibility like this one, it doesn’t seem to make me feel much better needless to say.
Aside from the fear of global pandemic, “Contagion” gives the spotlight to the tireless efforts of all doctors who finally discover a vac– cine sufficient enough to slow down the virus.
Essentially, they restore peace of mind and health to every affected area of the world.
As an interesting angle in the sci-fi genre, “Contagion” heralds it- self as a truly well-made film and is successful in scaring the pants off any sane human being who watches it. With a PG- 13 rating for disturbing images (undeniable) and some language, the movie makes a darn good point without all the garbage seen in most drama-thrillers recently. Overall, I give it a hard 5 out of 5 chips for sufficiently creeping me out and leaving me with the desire to never touch anything—or anyone—again.