Friday, September 9, 2011

Movie Review: Contagion

Even with the advent of the latest technologies in medical breakthroughs by the brightness minds in the planet, many still don’t know that viruses and bacteria causing diseases are always one step ahead of the cure.

The film Contagion, distributed by Warner Bros. Philippines, is a fictional thriller that escalates to microscopic and yet pandemic proportions. The story, as fictional as it is in the movie, is still not far from reality that it might even occur in the near future to obliterate the whole human race.

Director Steven Soderbergh, the guy that brought box office hits like the “Ocean” movie series and “Traffic”, has brought another hard-drama thriller that will surely make the audiences experience a short-term-paranoia and become overly cautious if anybody around them suddenly coughs. Backed-up by Hollywood’s high caliber talents like Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lawrence Fishburne, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law, the acting delivery was not certainly short changed.

The film was created in a somewhat Indie film-like documentary style with not much long dialogues, but more of graphic snapshots of effects and the sequences of how the virus was transferred from one person to another. I just felt a little bit disappointed that Paltrow’s character appearances were very short because she was among the first casualties of the outbreak. Matt Damon, Paltrow’s shocked grieving husband, gave an outstanding performance as well. But among the talents who gave an excellent portrayal of their characters, Jude Law’s is what I like best. He portrayed a freelance online media blogger with millions of followers to boot and shared a different kind of scare to the public with his activist vigilante conspiracy theory that added more pressure to the present world crisis.

The film was only one and a half hour long. For me it was too short, given the fast paced sequence of the movie. I felt that important scenes that eventually connect to a crucial part of the story were not much emphasized thus leaving most of the audiences grasping for details to connect the dots. For example, the scene where the abducted CDC medical officer in China (who was released but decided to leave the airport after finding out that the vaccines given to her kidnappers were placebo), was so open-ended. Establishing the origin of the virus at the near end of the film was also not so dramatic.

Nonetheless, this film is worth watching if you’re the type who loves to analyze every bit and piece of a film afterwards. I guess that’s the part of the movie where audiences are left with so they can come up with other stories that will make the first one more interesting.

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