Newest Review: ... Kate Winslet which all looked glamorous and interesting in the trailer (and for the cover of the DVD) which make it look really oscar worth... more
Don't talk to anyone. Don't touch anyone.
Member Name: ajbluestar
Advantages: good premise and acting
Disadvantages: weak character development, slow paced, could have been more action
Contagion is an apocalyptic style film about the spread of a deadly virus across the world. It features an all star cast including Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne and Matt Damon. It was released in September 2011.
The film begins on day 2 where we see Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) who has contracted the flu like virus after visiting Hong Kong on a business trip. She has a seizure and is taken to hospital where she later dies. Shortly after this her son is taken home from school after feeling ill and he also dies from the killer virus. This is all shown in the trailer so is not a big spoiler. Her husband, Mitch (Matt Damon) is later taken into isolation but he is found to be immune. What follows is a race against time to find a cure/vaccine before the virus infects the population at large . The film moves around various locations around the world showing victims, scientists and investigators and how the pandemic is affecting them . Also shown is the chaos that ensues such as looting and burglary as more and more people contract the virus.
There are a number of key characters in the film who each have different roles.
Mitch played by Matt Damon is one of the human and non scientific characters. He has lost his son and wife and he is also trying to protect his daughter from contracting the virus.
Marion Cotillard as Dr. Leonora Orantes is out to try and find the origins of the virus.
Laurence Fishburne and Kate Winslet also play doctors in the film trying to keep calm under pressure.
Jude Law plays a blogger/conspiracy theorist who believes that the government and other organisations are not telling the full story. He also believes in a herbal remedy as a cure for the virus.
This is a film with a very interesting premise. It is a 'what if' scenario of what would happen if everyone we came into contact with could kill us. The pandemic and fear/panic that ensues seems pretty true to life. The portrayal of death is quite unnerving. The acting is pretty good from the main characters, although the character development is a bit weak. There aren't any real big action sequences like in some disaster films. It is more about the virus and the spread of it and general consequences of it. The film is slow paced and this is not good in terms of keeping you interested. There is a lot of scientific jargon also thrown around for good measure which may interest those who are interested in that kind of thing but those after big action will be left disappointed.
Overall I thought this was a watchable film with some interesting content but it also felt like there was something big missing in it. I felt at the end there could have been a bit more action or a more satisfactory conclusion as well as developing some of the characters a bit more. At the end I was left a little disappointed. I would give it between 3 and 4 stars but if I had to choose it would be 3 stars.
Summary: watchable but could have been better