Sunday, October 2, 2011
Contagion is a star studded film that unravels a story of international turmoil, as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, indiscriminately ravashing populations and morphing peoples psyche's to points of hysteria usually reserved for zombie flicks. Much like Crash and Babel, Contagion's plot is approached from multiple vantage points, giving the viewer a more complete picture of the catastrophe at hand. While this method of storytelling is useful in this way, it results in a choppy storytelling that leaves much to be desired in terms of character development. Just as soon a character begins to take shape you are thrust into a new story arch. This also results in a high amount of musical montages. With a such a large cast to command and the film already running over 100 minutes, it is only natural that such measures would be taken. The cinematography in Contagion is excellent, and does wonderfully at drawing the viewers attention to every mundane action that results in touching the various items we all touch in our day to day lives. What makes Contagion worth watching is how it frames the human race when faced with such an epidemic. While the films stars are given such limited screen time, and their characters have such little time to develop, this allows the virus itself to exist as a sort of esoteric character in and of itself. From start to finish, the virus is a sort of drifter with a mysterious past, passing through our planets history with a an agenda to challenge our planets resolve. My final conclusions about Contagion is that while it is generally flat, and missed several opportunities in character development, it is a much more relevant and impressive film than most of what is in theaters right now.