CONTAGION (M, 106mins) Directed by Stephen Soderbergh *****
The poster-child for the beginning of the present pandemic. The film everybody turned to within the early days of Covid-19 final yr.
Steven Soderbergh’s horrifying 2011 look at a virus that’s “Godzilla, King Kong and Frankenstein all rolled into one”. One allegedly the results of “the wrong pig meeting the wrong bat”.
A decade on from its preliminary launch, it’s simple to see why it struck a chord with so many locked-down viewers. A catastrophe film with gravitas, Contagion is a crucial, scientifically sure-footed, hot- button thriller that could have you avoiding public surfaces and reaching for antibacterial hand gel for months.
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* I’ve seen Contagion four times. No, the coronavirus outbreak isn’t the same
* Gwyneth Paltrow cracks a coronavirus joke: ‘I’ve already been in this movie’
* Unsane: How Steven Soderbergh used an iPhone to film Claire Foy thriller
Shot with a uncooked depth and doubtlessly chilling realism, it is a pandemic film that would not require Dustin Hoffman to monkey round (Outbreak), Will Smith to vamp up the strain (I Am Legend), or Mark Wahlberg to concern bushes (The Happening). Instead, Contagion boasts a shocking solid that consists of Oscar winners like Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard, in addition to Jude Law, Elliott Gould and John Hawkes.
Like the very best virus thrillers, all of it begins with a cough.
Back within the United States after a factory-ground-breaking ceremony in Hong Kong, and after a layover in Chicago, Aimm Alderson worker Beth Emhoff (Paltrow) is feeling a bit of worse for put on.
As she arrives residence in Minneapolis, she has a excessive temperature and pounding headache. Just hours later, she is rushed to hospital by involved husband Mitch (Damon). Moments after getting there, she’s useless, with medical doctors unable to find out whether or not it was meningitis, encephalitis, herpes or one thing else.
Then information comes that her contact in Hong Kong, her lover in Chicago and her younger son in Minneapolis have all died in the identical means.
That’s when officers hit the panic button, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation are referred to as in and scientists start the battle to seek out out what they’re coping with. While finally consultants are capable of decide its supply and composition, the demise toll is rising exponentially by the day, they usually nonetheless don’t have any remedy protocol and no vaccine.
Amongst the Oscar-winners and box-office staples, doubtlessly lesser lights additionally stand out. Playing a personality not one million miles from his CSI science man Ray Langston, Laurence Fishburne is an attention-holding voice of purpose, whereas Pride and Prejudice followers’ definitive Elizabeth Bennet, Jennifer Ehle, is the movie’s motion star.
Always eager to experiment with genres and types, director Steven Soderbergh right here delivered what could also be his magnum opus, Contagion combining the directorial swagger of Ocean’s 11 with the innovation, immediacy and intimacy of Sex, Lies and Videotape, the only, easy however multi-sided conceit of Traffic and the social crusading of Erin Brockovich.
Clever use of point-of-view photographs and adjustments in focus, mix with highly effective lingering photographs of potential sources of an infection and an understated, sparse however driving rating to position the viewer within the centre of the motion, swept together with the rising tide of panic.
As properly as scaring the bejesus out of audiences, Soderbergh and author Scott Z Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant) additionally weren’t shy about taking some then fashionable mores to process. Bloggers (“it’s just graffiti with punctuation”) come below the microscope, as does the American healthcare system.
They additionally show that you do not want zombies to indicate humanity at its most brainless, shudderingly portraying simply how rapidly we might all go to hell in a handbasket given the correct mix of concern, misinformation and greed (arguably predicting what did come to move in some elements of the world).
A uncommon sci-fi thriller that boasted extra science than fiction, Contagion not solely went viral when it debuted, it’s nonetheless acquired folks speaking at present.
Contagion is now obtainable to stream on iTunes, GooglePlay and YouTube.
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