There are a lot of films out there about viral outbreaks that have tried to emulate what would happen when the world is faced by a deadly virus, and Contagion did it well back in 2011.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Contagion does a marvellous job showing what a virus is capable of when the people and organizations in power don’t do what is required by them to act quickly and swiftly to save thousands before it’s too late.
Contagion is a 2011 American thriller film that takes on a multi-narrative concept whose plot revolves around the spread of a virus transmitted by respiratory droplets and fomites that originated from China while showing the attempts made by medical researchers and public health officials to identify and contain a deadly disease. Sounds familiar?
Though released a decade ago, Contagion is filled with strange and frightening similarities to the real-world pandemic caused by COVID-19. It also brings a wide talent of actors to the set including the likes of Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle, and Sanaa Lathan.
As you watch the movie, you will be thrown back by how cunningly familiar each of the events portrayed in the film share a close connection to the current coronavirus pandemic. You will even be more shocked when you start to put the scenarios together as it seems like the writers behind the story predicted almost everything to the dot.
From countries denying who is responsible for the spread of the virus, to how medical personnel react, riots and confusion, lockdowns, including the drastic effects of misinformation spread by media about the virus and a possible cure. The film does a great job bringing it to light.
Contagion as a movie gives a realistic view about the spread of a virus just like the current ongoing pandemic
According to Warner Bros, the film is currently its second most downloaded property, after the Harry Potter franchise. At the moment, it’s currently more popular than DC Universe and box office smashes like Crazy Rich Asians.
While watching Contagion, you will keep saying to yourself, “how ironic” on every scene that seems so familiar. There is a moment in the film where Dr Ellis Cheever played by Lawrence Fishburne gives a report about the potential spread of the virus while highlighting countries already affected in red, and then you realize how similar it is to the spreading pattern showcased by the WHO months before things took a turn for the worse.
Apart from that, you get to see people fighting for food, while others carry out acts of violence against their own neighbours in the search of supplies and what they need to survive. It also shows a realistic view of how families react to an outbreak most especially how a father (Matt Damon as Mitch Emhoff) tries to keep his daughter alive by isolating her from her own friends and keeping their entire house on lockdown.
The heroic acts by doctors on the front line are also shown quite well, as you get to see some of them risk their lives to treat sick patients and find a possible cure.
The best part about Contagion is how they portray Jude Law (Alan Krumwiede), who plays the part of a writer who owns a blog site that has gained millions of views due to his conspiracy theories about the spread of the virus, a possible cure, and how health organizations including governments are holding back on certain information and are trying to take advantage of the situation.
We have seen the same happen during the first months of the year when reports started to surface about the ongoing spread of the unidentified virus on various online sites. The film also adds in a twist where a scene shows the U.S. government determining who gets the vaccine first using a rotary based system.
There are a lot of interesting outcomes played out in Contagion that could come into reality such as people wearing wrist bans to show that they have been vaccinated against the virus.
Contagion is definitely worth watching, and I highly recommend it if you want to gain a perspective on how viruses spread, and the possible outcomes they have on communities and the world entirely. Though the movie has a good ending, with the vaccine found, let’s hope the same plays out for us as we battle the current pandemic.
Contagion film trailer
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