movie thoughts: Contagion (2011)


Within the first few minutes of “Contagion” you’re thinking:

“Wow, it’s scary how quickly a disease can spread, especially in today’s modern world of constant travel.”

About 30 minutes in, you’re shaking your head:

“Wow, it’s scary how quickly the mission to cure a disease can be overtaken by beaurocracy, politics, and selfishness.” 

An hour:

“WTF never mind the disease or the government organizations, what is wrong with people?  Are we really just animals pretending to be proper?”

And the movie ends:

*breathes out*  “Wow…that was tense.”

“Contagion” is a very simple story – it’s the story of a new disease, similar to H1N1 and SARS, that pops up on sheer chance and manages to devistate human society.  The movie gives us a glimpse into the lives of a suburban dad, a CDC agent, a scientist searching for a cure, a W.H.O. agent searching for answers, and a conspiracy theorist with an internet connection. 

It’s less like watching a story be told, but more like watching someone else put a puzzle together in front of you.  I suppose that is how it feels for the men and women faced with challenges like this daily.  When the movie starts, it’s like someone has just dumped all of the pieces out right in front of us and then run off with the box lid so we have no clue where to start.  Slowly, the scientists begin to put things together the only way they know how, slowly building up the edges, putting little things together they notice, working towards a big picture.

I think the scariest thing about disease is that it doesn’t need to be personified into an evil thing.  That’s what makes it scary.  Evil has a goal, a purpose — diseases are not aware of what they are doing as they slowly wipe out a person, a family, a town, a city…but people do.  People know what they need to survive.  Like “28 Days Later” and “War of the Worlds” (2005), the most disturbing scenes are when humanity falls apart and that basic survival need takes over. 

I will definitely be thinking about this movie for awhile.  Every time someone coughs or sneezes and then touches something…(yeah, don’t watch this if you have hypocondriac tendencies!) 

Stellar cast, riveting narrative – def. worth checking out!

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