REVIEW: Contagion   Leave a comment

Doctor: Unfortunately, she did die.

Matt Damon: Okay, so can I talk to her?

The movie starts with Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) who came from a business trip from Hong Kong. After coming back, she starts to feel that something’s wrong with her, and as you can see in the movie poster, she died. What happened next is a jumping multiple storyline that involves how her husband (Matt Damon) dealt with the death of his wife. Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurence Fishburne) has a very surname but more than that, he starts an investigation about the random cause of death (that started with Beth) of different people in different parts of the world. With him is Dr. Erin Mears who conducts the actual investigation of it in Minneapolis, and from World Health Organization is Dr. Leonora Orantes who went to Hong Kong to trace the virus itself. To complete the list is blogger Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) who thinks that this is just one whole conspiracy.

Steven Soderbergh is no stranger to large ensembles, and this is definitely no exception. He gets to squeeze the best among his casts and once again, he proved that there are no small roles for big actors. While Paltrow dies at the start of film, her presence is still felt until the last scene in the film. Laurence Fishburne and Matt Damon gets to have the meatiest roles and the longest screen times. It would have been better had they given more focus to Marion Cotillard as that seems to be the weakest among all the stories in the film. That’s my major issue aside from the too much scientific lingo that will either send you to sleep or to confusion.

Technically though, the film can brag everything about it. The cinematography is awesome, and I love how playful Soderbergh is with some of the shots in the film. Editing is also commendable as the film shifts from one story (and country) to another, and the whole atmosphere of the film is fantastic. My favorite, though, is the musical score. It was riveting and intense. The sound brings life even in the simplest scenes in the film. The score brings energy and suspense to what could have been quiet scenes, thus, fulfilling a very convincing and remarkable addition to the overall output.

There are scenes that has been there-done that marked all over it, but they’re pretty forgivable. I don’t understand the need to IMAX this film though since the film is shot in 3D, and all you will see are Gwyneth Paltrow’s pores (decent) and Laurene Fishburne’s (horrible). Also, you get to see how ugly Jude Law’s teeth were (though they say it’s not his real set used in the film). The movie is very timely and effective I also like how the movie went full circle in the end.

To sum it up, this is the type of film that relies on a story and though it could have done better, it still delivered. No one from the cast is award-worthy, but all were good in it. It is one big paranoia experience that will left you feeling uneasy after watching it.

Grade: B+

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