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Contagion - My basic thoughts on the Movie

Updated on September 23, 2011

Contagion - The Movie

I just got home from seeing Contagion in the theater, and I am so glad I did. I recall seeing the previews a while back and thinking it looked so sad, scary yet very interesting. I will just be sharing some of my thoughts on the movie here.

Surely it has to be tricky when you have seen the trailers and previews here and there to give the audience a surprise. Even knowing so much of what was going to happen or likely to happen, it was a great movie to watch. There were lots of great characters in it as well that were a real joy to see all together. I hadn't seen Marion Cotillard for instance in a long time, not since Inception. She is phenomenal. Kate Winslett was beautiful and lovely as ever, it was so great to see her too.

In short, its about an killer outbreak, millions die. It shows how communities scramble, how scientists get to work, and how doctors and law enforcement try to deal with the panic that ensues. I thought it was pretty fair in this regard, and it could have been worse of course. Its heartbreaking in parts, and I remember feeling very distinctly surprised to see such graphics in the morgue, for instance! It was like watching CSI.

Bridge in China
Bridge in China | Source

More twists and turns in the movie

Contagion had a fair amount of twists and turns which made it interesting. One can't help but wonder about these things possibly happening. One thing that surprised me was that it seemed so set up to be a possible biological terrorist attack, something many have wondered about terrorists unleashing in certain parts of the world. Soon enough in contagion however, you realize the grand scale alone, and possible massive wiping out of populations world over wouldn't make sense even for terrorists.

Between microbes and who knows what else, from pigs to bats to tropical fruits, this elaborate killing machine was very alarming. Its hard to see what the monkeys had to go through of course, even though they showed nothing in detail. Animal lovers may not like that part.

Jennifer Ehle, as Dr. Ally was a rather interesting character that kept me guessing through a lot of the movie. I am not familiar with her, and I was expecting (for some odd reason) that her character wasn't going to "be" the way it turned out. There was an uncertainty and suspense about her that kept me being ready to watch something go terribly wrong, if that makes sense. It was very strange to not know whether or not to trust her, and those ones usually end up not being trustworthy. This was opposite enough of that, that it struck me as curious and pleasantly surprising.

Surprising, yet not so surprising was another element that I love to see in movies. That is moral lessons of course. If you are like me and look for it, you may observe that some of our favorite movies of all time have themes running throughout that show our esteem of high morals. We want to reward them, and punish the "bad guys", generally speaking. You saw a bit of "karma" perhaps playing out, that when the wife died, it was known that she was cheating on her husband. Then her husband being immune, that was kind of cool! Also, the cure came from some selfless people that put the greater good over their own good or safety. From nice doctors to nuns to scientists in labs, you name it.

Toward the End

I liked that we got glimpses, like detectives, of what actually happened with the wife Beth. Exactly how does one track down what happened to better understand the problem so as to get to the cure? We got some glimpses into this process and it was fascinating throughout. Near the end however, they did a wonderful tying up of any possible loose ends. You got a view into what actually happened.

I have been pleased a few times recently like this, though its often not the case, where I ended up really liking the direction of the whole movie. It made me think the writer and director did awesome jobs.

Who did I enjoy the most in the acting department? Laurence Fishburne of course, he is just a great actor, in my opinion. His choices seemed to get better and better toward the end. Mary Cotillard I have really come to be impressed with, and Kate Winslett was wonderful as was Jude Law. Matt Damon did well also, but the others really stood out to me.


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