Film Micrœview #122: Contagion (2011)
08.17.2014 § Leave a comment
Ah, what a relief — a Hollywood movie with competent cinematography, shitty dialog and shitty acting (despite a big-name cast) punctuated by particularly hammed-up moments, jargon, and “twists”, and deeply shitty music (from Cliff Martinez, what???). Watchable only due to its ensemble nature: we don’t spend enough time with any one person to get over annoyed, and thus it feels like there’s no fat. “Nothing spreads like fear” — Ooh wow, the internet / modern communication are just like viruses, misinformation and panic are worse than the disease itself — genius! (the handling of characters’ usage of technology was awkward, by the way, super self-conscious about it)
Devoid of emotion, at least the movie depicts the triumph of reason. I guess you could say it’s in this weird place for me between Soderbergh’s popcorn and serious approaches — worst from both worlds.
The only redeeming moment for me was the final scene. It explains the source of the contagion, which up til then had been explained around but not fully solved. And through loose montage and an earlier stylistic precedent it implies association with one character’s documents, though that character (nor any other) are suggested to be privy to the explanation. Thus the audience gets their detached crowd-pleaser, while the movie still states that sometimes in the real world these things remain mysteries.