Contagion

(MA) Warner DVD/BD

There are many scare tactics in this film but perhaps its most convincing is the way in which every person on the planet can be connected in some way.

Ultimately, the high mobility of humans as they pass across one another every day means our degrees of separation are rapidly diminishing.

Everything connects: sitting next to someone on a plane, touching hand rails in public places, even documentation that is passed through multiple hands.

With an all-star cast, director Steven Soderbergh paints a grim picture of the insidious way disease can spread.

Contagion follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.

As the glue that holds humanity together yields, people must cope with a rapid downward spiral until the film posits just what people will do in order to survive.

Intelligently written in a circular way which connects every character’s actions and emotions, the film’s stellar cast — Marion Cottilard, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Laurence Fishburne and Kate Winslet — gives credibility and gravitas. It also refreshingly chooses style and intelligence over thrills.

A cerebral disaster film that is terrifyingly credible makes you wonder what would happen if we could no longer have contact with each other.

Adrian Drayton 

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