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Contagion (2011)

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Marion Cotillard
Matt Damon
Laurence Fishburne
Jude Law
Gwyneth Paltrow
Kate Winslet

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

The film has an ensemble cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Winslet. Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal indirect contact transmission virus (fomite transmission) that kills within days of infection.

Shot in eleven locations including Brazil, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Atlanta, Chicago etc. The movie follows how a virus is transmitted from country to country, a virus that resides on the surface and can be transmitted from touching anything touched by the infected person. As the fast-moving pandemic grows, the world medical community races to find a cure and control the epidemic as the fear was spreading faster than the virus itself.

As the virus spreads around the world, ordinary people struggle daily with the on-going epidemic. The movie then drops an interesting fact that the average person touches his face 2 – 3 thousand times in a day, a fact that I bet majority of you reading this don’t know and I think I doubt it.

A high-minded movie, that is so well plotted that it keeps you interested till the very end, the movie starts with a cough, then we see a sick Gwyneth Paltrow, who was cheating on her husband Matt Damon, dying the very next day. Making some give a high five to Karma. But infidelity is not what the movie is about, the movie is about death and how to stop it form taking over.

The movie develops into more as we see a worldwide panic, an immune pair, and Doctors trying to grow the virus so as to be able to study it and create a vaccine.

What I enjoyed most is watching the virus spread, we get to watch Gwyneth as she sits in a casino and spread the virus unknowingly by touching things like glass cups, blowing on die, her sit, who she touches, poor unfortunates souls like the bus boy who cleaned up after her and the man who just needed lady luck and asked her to blow on the die, were all infected. We see an Immune pair unable to evacuate the city because of Quarantine…the whole movie is a total chaos. We get to see a man and his daughter live in a chaotic environment quarantined with people living with the virus and yet are immune to the virus.
We get to see the struggles they go through being separated from the world and only getting food through donations and have to live on limited resources.

The movie was praised for its scientific accuracy, as it shows how a virus can move around and how it can be contained. Written by Scott Z. Burns, who was the screen writer for The Bourne Ultimatum another Matt Damon movie and directed by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean Eleven remake with George Clooney, also Twelve and Thirteen) did a fine job, in creating a movie that touches a variety of themes from panic, loss of social order, trust and more.

If you are bargaining for a good movie, Contagion is it.


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