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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Contagion Sells the Horror of a Pandemic


When COVID-19 took root, you nearly knew there could be motion pictures made to money in on the panic and worry of the pandemic. They got here — after all — and the higher movies to come back from that preliminary interval selected to deal with the human component. Isolation, loneliness, that type of factor. Understandably, most steered away from tackling a straight-up pandemic story.

However then, Steven Soderbergh and author Scott Z. Burns already cooked up a chilling ode to the horrors of a killer virus practically a decade earlier. Prescient and haunting, it was little shock that folks flocked to it as soon as extra within the early days of COVID-19.

Contagion arrived on this present day in 2011, and on the time, its science-heavy tackle the consequences of an airborne virus appeared fairly fanciful. At the same time as elements of the world had endured epidemics that generated scary headlines for the international locations not really affected by them, it nonetheless felt like a distant risk.

In Contagion, a girl returns from a enterprise journey to Hong Kong and dies from what seems to be a flu-like an infection. Then her younger son dies the identical day. Nevertheless, the lady’s husband seems to be immune.

Ensemble Solid Accentuates Contagion’s Paranoia and Concern

Credit score: Warner Bros.

Soderbergh makes improbable and scary use of his potential to wrangle an ensemble forged in these early moments. The movie has Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Legislation, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, and Elliot Gould amongst its quantity. Soderbergh stacks the deck solely to drag off a stunning swerve with a big-name actor struggling a comparatively swift dying. There’s no higher technique to set up nobody is protected from what’s coming. Even being immune doesn’t stop folks from struggling as a result of surprising dying of family members.

That is our entry level at first of what’s going to grow to be a pandemic the place the airborne virus wreaks havoc. Docs on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management quickly come to comprehend the extent of the virus’ attain. They scramble in opposition to the clock to each establish and discover a treatment for the virus.

In the meantime, the rise in circumstances worldwide causes unrest and panic on a major scale. As we all know all too properly, solutions simply can’t come rapidly sufficient to cease the impression.

Soderbergh dipped into horror in his storied directorial profession, most prominently in 2018’s Unsane, and can dip wholly into it for his upcoming movie Presence. However the coldly scientific science of Contagion is probably probably the most masterful use of it in his filmography.

Sure, Contagion performs issues to the intense finish of the spectrum. Nevertheless, that’s precisely why it acted as a bizarre type of consolation within the early days of our real-life pandemic. The scenario is unhealthy, however take a look at how unhealthy it so simply could possibly be. The parallels between actuality and fiction have been eerily shut at the moment.

Sadly, life proved stranger than fiction. Actuality proved it might provide you with its personal disturbing twist on how folks actually act in a pandemic. May Soderbergh have predicted anti-maskers?

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