Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies later the same day. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic.
Contagion is probably one of the most realistic movies I’ve seen that deal with this kind of subject matter. Most movies that deal with a type of global disaster over dramatize it to the point where it’s annoying. Everyone dies except the main character, there are slow touching scenes just before everything goes wrong, large scale disasters that tear apart cities… Contagion had none of that.
It showed glimpses into different people’s lives as they dealt with the virus, from people working for the CDC to regular people trying to survive. Each character has their own story to tell and all must put the survival of themselves and those they love above everyone else. Though I don’t think I’ll remember any story individually, together they created a very interesting scenario.
The movie starts off with a rather scary first look at the virus and then proceeds to show how quickly it is spreading. What interested me was learning how the CDC and other organizations deal with contagious viruses from the identification of patient zero to the searching for a cure – the science behind it all.
So basically, don’t watch the movie for the sake of the characters, but for the realistic inside look at the spread and prevention of a contagious virus.