Review Contagion (2011): A Relevant and Accurately Executed Pandemic Film


This Contagion review contains SPOILERS!

Okay, okay. I understand very well that maybe many of you have even watched Contagion many times . I’ve only seen the film more than three times.

But it’s no wonder that we still like to watch the film again, again, and again. Because as we all know, apart from the film directed by Steven Soderbergh ( Ocean’s Eleven, The Girlfriend Experience ) this is indeed cool and not boring, also the theme raised is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic situation that we are currently experiencing.

Plus, considering that COVID-19 is still not over until I write this review , and also because Dafunda doesn’t have a Contagion review yet , well as a result, it’s not surprising that this Contagion review was created and uploaded.

Now, after knowing all the explanations, let’s just start this Contagion review , okay?

Starting from a little then spreading widely

The plot of Contagion ‘s story initially only focused on one character, namely Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow). At the beginning of the film, Beth is said to be waiting for her plane to return from Hong Kong.

But before returning to her home which is located in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Beth stopped briefly in Chicago, Illinois. He stopped by to visit his ex-girlfriend. Even though she is married to her new husband, Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon).

Yes, of course, our assumption is that he is cheating. Well after that, he then returned home. So when he got home, the symptoms of a severe flu-like illness that he had felt since he was at the Hong Kong airport were getting worse.

In the end, he had convulsions and died. Now in Hong Kong itself, some of its citizens have also started experiencing a similar virulent flu and died like Beth.

Now from Beth and the residents of Hong Kong, finally slowly but surely, this deadly flu virus attacked several other world countries. As a result, from what was initially thought to be an epidemic, now this severe flu disease has become a global pandemic.

The CDC and Journalists Do It Alone

Seeing this big disaster, the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) immediately scrambled for nothing.

One of the doctors from this top US health agency, Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) is one who is also dizzy with all the events of this pandemic. Fortunately, the CDC isn’t the only health agency or agency in trouble.

Dr. Erin Mears (Kate Winslet) from the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) also intervened. But ironically he also contracted a virus called MEV-1 and like Beth and Mitch’s stepson, Clark (Griffin Kane), unfortunately he also died.

But it’s not just these health experts who are busy themselves. A journalist/ blogger , Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) is also busy himself to reveal this pandemic.

But unfortunately he is a blogger who thinks that this pandemic is man-made. And when the vaccine has been circulated, he thinks that this is only to make the government/country profit (hmm, not very familiar with what we see and hear today).

Oh yes, don’t forget that this film also shows the phenomenon of panic buying and even includes looting. Not to mention the chaos because the availability of the vaccine is very limited.

Relevant But Still Different

Well, with a summary of the plot. So once again, isn’t it wrong if Contagion is considered a pandemic-themed film that is very relevant to the current situation? Because yes, the situation that this film presents is very similar to the current situation.

Even so, still because this film itself was also released almost 9 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a fairly noticeable difference between MEV-1 and COVID-19. The most striking difference is the duration between contracting and dying

Specifically, if the time between transmission and death of a COVID-19 patient on average can take weeks or even months, then MEV-1 is only a few days.

Now, as for the symptoms of convulsions, which are one of the typical symptoms of MEV-1 with COVID-19 symptoms, there are actually still similarities. Indeed, as long as we have seen the various variants of COVID symptoms so far, it is very rare or even never to hear that convulsions are one of the symptoms.

However, releasing data from the seizure-journal , in fact seizures were also experienced by some COVID-19 patients. Specifically, of the 5872 COVID-19 patients they studied, 45 people or 0.8% of them were detected as having convulsive symptoms.

Now, based on these findings, we can say that the convulsive symptom aspect of MEV-1 in this film has little resemblance to the current COVID-19. So once again, making Contagion a film that is very similar to the pandemic situation we are facing today.

The Right Execution of the Pandemic Film

In addition to the relevance that Soderbergh cs successfully displayed. Another aspect that makes Contagion cool is that the execution of the film is very precise and meets expectations.

That is, this film is about 75% focused all-out on the plot aspect of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the rest is just a seasoning of drama from the characters, especially from the Emhoff family.

So don’t think this film is like the average COVID-19 pandemic film release in the last 2 years such as Songbird (2020) or even Locked Down (2021). As we all know, these two films focus more on the dramatic aspects of romance or whatever drama the characters experience during the pandemic.

This aspect is actually legitimate. But in the end, the concept that was carried was the pandemic, right? Now , once again, Contagion , fortunately, puts forward the concept from the beginning to the end of the film.

Scoring and Super Cool Appearance from the Actors

Now, the positive aspects that have been mentioned above, are further strengthened by the scoring and appearance of the actors who are gokil.

The scoring by Cliff Martinez ( Spring Breakers, Game Night ) which carries a cyberpunk -style sound , feels very different, unique, but strangely sounds right with this film.

It’s so fitting, it’s no wonder that some scenes that are only accompanied by the music look and feel really cool and innovative. Apart from that, for me personally, the sound scoring is pretty good for giving a sense of terror from the film’s pandemic disaster.

The scoring power is getting stronger with a performance that is also very gokil. Nothing shines brighter for me. From Damon, Law, Winslet, and even Paltrow who only appeared briefly to give their best performance without overdoing it at all.

But if we really want to choose again, the ones that shine for me in this film are Law, Damon, Fishburne and Marion Cotillard ( The Dark Knight Rises ). Cotillard in this film plays WHO epidemiologist, Dr. Leonora Orantes.

A Film That Will Always Be Fresh and Relevant Until Anytime

Seeing all these positive ratings, we too must be asking are there any negative aspects of this film? Unfortunately, for me there is. And the drawback is in the film pacing settings.

Specifically, the first half until the second half of this film has a fairly fast-paced plot and keeps us literate. But entering the second half, the pacing started to fluctuate a bit. In fact, for me it goes down more. Which ends up making a little sleepy often.

But fortunately in the third act, the pacing was good again. But if we think about it again, the pacing with this pattern is really appropriate to tell the story of this film. Yes, the point of this deficiency is very subjective. Maybe for some of you, the pacing will be okay.


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