8 – Contagion (2011)

My Rating: 9/10

Synopsis: Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) contacts a contagion in Hong Kong and becomes “patient zero” of a pandemic that took 26 million lives around the globe.

This film chronicled a fictitious but scientifically accurate pandemic. In doing so, a style known as “hyperlink cinema” –  as was utilized before by Steven Soderbergh in Traffic (2000) and Syriana (2005) – was used again by Soderbergh to illustrate in subsections the contagion from onset to containment. This style effectively worked as portraits of the spread of the virus,  of scientifically accurate attempts in containing it, of social order collapse and mass hysteria propelled by fear, of greed, of weighing personal motives versus professional responsibilities, of limitations by the public health in such circumstances, of the power of social media, of the power of disinformation, of medical breakthroughs,  and of uncertainty and leap of faith were dealt with against the  backdrop of a worldwide pandemic.
Aside from outstanding direction, the actors are topnotch and they are all relevant, not one proved to be misused or underused. The stories of the characters interconnected beautifully with some of them not meeting at all (a known phenomenon in hyperlink cinema). The pace was just right and it presented no lull moments all throughout. My criticism is only one – the build-up to the conclusion had not been enough. The turnabout from hopeless searching to identifying the vaccine was not given enough impact
It’s so awesome, it actually made me consider a career in microbiology, or biochemistry, or anything that comes close.


Runtime: 1hr 45min (Box Office Mojo)

Production Budget: $60 million (Box Office Mojo)

Grosses (Box Office Mojo)
North America:  $75,658,097    55.9%
+ Foreign:  $59,800,000    44.1%

Worldwide:  $135,458,097

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