'Contagion' Review By Bawnian©-Dexeus
What's 30 million compared to 7 billion?
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh.
Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne, Marrion Cotilliard, Bryan Cranston, Enrico Colantoni, Kate Winslet, Sanaa
Lathan, Elliot Gould and Jennifer Ehle.
A Pandemic spreads worldwide.
The Antonine Plague (165 - 180 AD) 5,000,000 deaths.
The Plague of Justinian (541 AD) A quarter of the population in the Mediterranean dead; 10,000 daily.
The Black Death (1300s - 1400s, with further outbreaks into the 1700s.)
100,000,000 and over in a period of 200 years or more.
Smallpox Epidemics Among Native Americans (1492 - 1900) In 1900, the Native american population declined from it's original estimate of 12,000,000 to 275,000.
The First Cholera Pandemic (1817 - 1823) 100,000 deaths and 10,000 more in he early 60's.
The Asiatic (Russian) Flu (1889 - 1890) 250,000 deaths in Western Europe.
The Great Influenza (1918 - 1919) 100,000,000 in a period of 6 months. Today, it could kill 350,000,000 in a similar scale.
AIDS (1981? to present) 25,000,000 deaths.
The "Common" Flu (Present) 36,000 a year.
Malaria: 2,700,000 a year; 2,800 children a day.
Contagion (2011) 30,000,000 in 135 days
It takes a plastic shark to scare people away from the water. Does Contagion have the same effect to scare the world into thinking twice about the people they interact with or the surface they touch? Is this entire production a ploy to get people to buy more health products to please the government? either way, Contagion is a great way to view what might happen to day if an outbreak like the Spanish Flu were to occur in a new type of disease. It also shows just hoe stupid humans are when dealing with a pandemic, but can I call humans acting on instinct and Darwin's "survival of the fittest" stupid?
I had read the reviews that the movie begins on a healthy path and suffers from it's viral cast. Impossible; how could you fail with such an impressive list of Oscar winners and nominees? After watching it, it can't help but agree. The way the script made their characters available to their respective scenes, some of the role could have been served better with lesser star power: Matt Damon, Marion Cotilliard, Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow. Since their characters are short lived, literally, with respect to Damon's, fresh blood would have been better. It would have given the chance for new starts to show us what they have to offer with the available material.
The beauty about this pandemic is simply how Soderbergh decided to film the process of how the world might or more likely should react. There will always be a string of panic, conspiracy, and the world leaders will always select who deserves the cure before the expendable bunch get theirs. Better ask yourself, if you had two vaccines available, and one is obviously for you, who would you give the second one to, The President of the United states or a child? To the government, the decision is obvious. To the average person, who do you think they'll choose? To me, that answer is also obvious.
The chronological order of the outbreak gave me a pleasing smile. I enjoy watching movies where they outline the number of days or time to give the viewer a sense of where they at in the story. Here we get 145 days of what a single virus can do to the Earth's human population. The trailers make this movie seem like the ultimate fright fest. It's just o help us be more aware of out surroundings. I don't worry as much as the next health nut or your average agoraphobia.
As it is an impressive list, it lacks character development after a while and half the roles could have been filled with new actors to give them a chance. I will say that Bryan Cranston is getting quite the deserving roles.
While the movie isn't as powerful as Traffic, it does present a style used: filters. Blue, Yellow or Orange and Regular. I leave to you, the viewer, to determine where each use of color is better defined; used to represent the action of the scene.
I love movie about about viruses. They make good guilty pleasures. They at times get ridiculous with he zombie characteristics. But Contagion is simply a Hollywood version of a fire drill. A personal handbook for the next pandemic. (Pray we don't).
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.