Last night I saw Contagion.
For a germaphobe like me, this was a cautionary tale. I already freak out if someone coughs too much or sneezes too often. I look at that person warily and ask, “Are you sick?” Usually without waiting for a response, I pull out the sanitizer and cover my own mouth and nose. This movie has taught me that I am not being overly paranoid, I am being safe because I don’t want to get sick and DIE!!! Okay, maybe I am overreacting a wee bit, but the movie was so realistic that I feel it could happen. In retrospect, I guess that means the screenwriters and directors did their job well.
The movie starts off with Gwyneth Paltrow’s character sitting in a restaurant bar waiting for her flight. She is talking on the phone and looking quite pallid, which she attributes to jetlag. She gets home, still not feeling well and next thing you know, she is dead.
Whoa! (umm yea it was over for her that quickly)
No sooner does her husband (Matt Damon’s character) have the chance to process that depressing information, his son dies as well. Scenes from all over the world show similar occurrences.
The CDC and WHO (played by Lawrence Fishburn, Kate Winslet, and others) are faced with a global dilemma. It was bizarre that a seemingly non-threatening head cold morphed into a killer disease. This is the battle of science vs. bacteria (and the time it takes to kill the host organism). CDC and WHO need to understand what is happening so that they can treat the illness. Without a vaccine, humankind is defenseless and the number of people are dying increases exponentially. It is even more difficult to contain whatever it is with the movement of people on every possible mode of transportation. From one infected person in an airport, there are outbreaks in many other parts of the world. I guess the scariest part of this movie was the fact that disease’s initial symptoms had the appearance of something as innocuous as a mild cold but was highly contagious and extremely deadly .
How many times have people in the office came to work with a slight head cold? I don’t like to take chances, but who knows when I have touched something that they touched? Elevator buttons, refrigerator door in the canteen, etc.
Even though I try not to consciously touch my face, how many times have I done it unconsciously?
And let’s not even begin to analyze what we touch when we are on public transportation.
As I type this, I took a minute to apply more anti-bacterial sanitizer.
Yea, this movie messed with my head more than I anticipated. Or maybe I knew on some level it would be like this and that is why I waited so long to see it. In the end, the outcome was kind of what I would have expected, meaning it seemed to be a very realistic ending.
The genre of this movie is thriller and I can say it was a thrill to watch it.
Most importantly, I was making mental notes of what I need to do in the event of a global contagious disease that begins killing people like flies. Don’t shake hands. CHECK.
Don’t take public transportation. CHECK.
Have gun loaded. CHECK.
Unlike the movies with radioactive bugs or other giant monsters, the villainous bacteria in Contagion could actually exist. Would real life imitate a fictional movie? I hope that it never happens. But knowing how unsanitary people can be, I am not convinced we would be any better off.
Overall: The movie is worth watching if you have not already done so. And seeing what started the deadly virus ball rolling will make you want to go wash your hands and apply sanitizer just to be cautious.