Sunday, 6 November 2011


UK Release: 21st October 2011
Watched in Cinema: Wednesday 2nd November 2011
Rating: 12A
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Runtime: 1hr 46mins
Tagline: Don't talk to anyone. Don't touch anyone.
IMDb Plot Synopsis: Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies a few days later. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Center for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic.

My Review: Contagion. I’ve been really excited to see this film for months. In fact it was part of my Top 30 Most Anticipated Films of the Year which I put together in January. So it has been a long time coming. And it mostly didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere was built up throughout, which was tense and on-edge as the worldly virus spreads across the world. Taking a more character/individual driven look at a world disaster instead of a political view. Scientists and doctors were the leads, and the realistic cinematography meant it was a much more natural look at how society can crumble within days. The focusing on door knobs and used glasses cast a foreboding shadow over the film and caused many a ‘oh no’ gasp in the cinema. 
There was excellent pacing, and while I was cautious about the big star cast it just about worked. A few of the leads were unnecessary and had little screen time but gave the others a break. Kate Winslet was one of my favourite characters and it was a shame that her storyline was faded out so suddenly after investing in her character. I suppose it was a way to emphasis the cold, hard truth of the virus. Matt Damon and Laurence Fishburne were brilliant as a family man and a man in power, whose warnings to his wife meant the breakdown of order. Jude Law was a blogger, with an irritating Australian accent, who was trying to ‘tell the world the truth’ about the virus. This allowed a more philosophical look at the power of words and as a line from the film said “Blogging isn't writing. It's just graffiti with punctuation.”! 
The pacing was surprisingly good and the film was emotional as a result, even with the lack of character development in a lot of the characters. However, the ending was... bleh. It was a bit of a disappointment after the rest of the film. There was no real conclusion or resolution and it felt like it just... stopped. There wasn’t much of a climax either, it just built and built and then fizzled out. It’s unfortunate as if it weren’t the last 5 or 10 minutes or so, Contagion is a pretty decent film, looking at humanity and how easily it can be attacked both physically and mentally. Brilliant.
Score: 8/10

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