Contagion (2011)

How do you see yourself in 10 years? Well, after seeing Contagion, I’d say that I see myself as Howard Hughes. Not the cool, rich, Leo Di Caprio-like aviator and producer, but the later bearded mad men who captivated himself in order to avoid people and viruses. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the movie. I only think they should put a warning sign on the posters or before the trailer. It could go like this:

Warning! Watching this movie could cause you hypochondria. If it makes you feel better, feel free to convince yourself that at least, in case of alien attack, the virus is going to kill the evil green creatures too.

That being said, I think the movie is really good. You can see Soderbergh’s touch everywhere, from cinematography to music. And he definitely knows how to handle multi strand narration, but no surprise in that: we already learnt it in Traffic. Extreme close-ups highlight the characters’ vulnerability, making them look… exposed. A feeling that is also boosted by lack of make-up on the actors’ faces, which stands out thanks to the use of HD digital technology in the shooting and  post-production process, as well as in the 2K projection. A most of the time overexposed lighting contributes to the feeling… Again, the key word in this film is “exposed”. The scary part is the truthfulness, because this time we have a disaster movie which is so deeply grounded in reality that it makes you think: Jee, this is not science fiction, this can really happen. Hence the paranoia and the feelings of anxiety. On a side note, I think the fact that we never get to see how NYC handles the crisis is praiseworthy, since not having a beheaded Statue of Liberty contributes to differentiate Contagion from classical Disaster Movies. Definitely recommended.

PS: FYI, I’m taking a train on Monday, and if you saw Italian trains, you’d know what  I mean. If you’ll look for me, I’ll be the one with this face when someone sneezes, choughs or sits next to me.