I went in expecting to panic. The premise of Steven Soderbergh’s new movie Contagion is that of a world-wide pandemic that kills off millions of people. Of course, this viral warfare brings out the worst characteristics of the human race as they all face hardships such as death, hunger and fear. The world is grey and glum. So yes, I expected to leave panicked and looking for the nearest bunker to fill with my lifetime supply of food, batteries and hand sanitizer. Though the subject matter is an incredibly nerve-racking possibility, Soderbergh handles the material in a straightforward and brisk manner. There is not a lot of manipulation of your emotions to have you quivering in a corner with a loaded pistol. There is, however, an interesting introduction of topics to really get you thinking about what the outcome would be if we ever did have to face a pandemic of this proportion. How would we protect our family? Could we trust the government to protect us? Given such a global topic, this is a great movie to see with just about anyone who you would like to have an animated discussion with. Another interesting element of Contagion is the cast. It is one of those movies where fantastic actors pop up in each scene. Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet and many others anchor this movie with fine performances. The characters themselves are an eclectic group. The protective and mourning husband and father, the renegade blogger out to expose the government, the good guy gone bad guy, back to good guy in the government. In retrospect, it is probably a good thing there are so many Hollywood heavies in this movie. There are so many subplots, the performances are needed to hold it all together. And they do. Overall, Contagion is a good movie. First of all, it never lags. You are engaged right from the start. Also, there are so many stars that at least there is a little sparkle in this otherwise somber situation the characters find themselves in. Lastly, when you leave the theatre, you can be thankful that a last minute sprint to Sam’s Club for bottled water is not necessary. We are safe. For now.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.