REVIEW: What we thought of Contagion

MOVIE (PHOTO: Getty Images)
MOVIE (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Cast: Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne

Time: 106 minutes

Genre: Thriller/Drama

Age restriction: PG13

Release date: 9 September 2011

What it’s about

The death of a young wife and her son who had travelled to Hong Kong leads to the discovery of a deadly virus that’s easily transmitted from one person to the next through physical contact and contact with objects or surfaces that are contaminated by the virus. The movie, by director Steven Soderbergh, explores the fear and paranoia caused by an easily transmitted virus that causes fatal seizures.

What we thought

The action starts on day two. We see Mitch’s (Matt Damon) wife die from a severe seizure after she lands in the US following her trip to Hong Kong. While shocked at the unknown cause of his wife Beth’s death, Mitch comes home to find his stepson dead too. The two deaths lead to the discovery of a deadly new disease that can’t be named as its origins are unknown. The virus spreads rapidly and affects a lot of people in China and in the US. The US government and scientists try to contain the disease, but it seems impossible. A scientist tries her best to trace every individual who was in contact with the deceased woman when she came back from her trip, however, in her quest to stop the spread of the virus she too contracts the it, putting more pressure on the US government to find a cure as more people are infected.

The movie was released in 2011 but a lot of the events in it are similar to those of the global Covid-19 pandemic we’re currently facing. In the flick the virus is described as a severe fever or cold that leads to fatality. While Covid-19 isn’t as deadly as the virus in the movie, a lot of events are like what’s happening globally. With the discovery of Covid-19 and global governments trying to halt the spread of the virus, this movie suddenly feels very real.

In the flick, the virus is as easily transmittable as touching a surface or an object that’s been contaminated, or through human interaction such as shaking hands, hugging and kissing or touching an object then touching one’s face. The virus spreads rapidly. Before people can even follow measures to protect themselves, they infect others, not knowing they carry the deadly virus within themselves too.

The movie ends by showing us how Beth contracted the virus. It’s a great thriller that many have praised for its prophetic narrative. As we continue to fight the spread of the coronavirus, be entertained by the mind-boggling movie that will have you screaming, “What the hell?” at the screen.


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