Contagion Wows Moviegoers

Jonathan Choi, Staff Writer

What can wipe out more people than World War I and II combined, kill faster than poison gas, and is deadlier and more painful than a bullet? According to Director Steven Soderbergh, it is an outbreak that was caused by an unknown virus created by a bat and a banana. In addition, up to one billion people can die within a month.

   Contagion was a one of a kind film. The movie had all the right elements of a sci-fi thriller: suspense, superb actors, a fast-paced plot, explosive drama, and an acutely detailed back story. Yet, Soderbergh also poses some intelligent and disturbing questions. After the recent outbreaks such as H1N1, the question can be posed as to how  the Centers for Disease Control and the International Monetary Fund can cope with such a large problem. What if our methods for controlling diseases are not enough? Who would get the vaccine first? And how are we, as humans, contributing to the probability of such possibilities?

One of the key features included in the movie are the factual details. Soderbergh tells us that the average human touches their face two to three thousand times a day; in addition to touching doorknobs, toilets, ATM’s, phones, keyboards and other household objects. Joseph Ahn (11) reflects, “I think I’m going to notice touching my face more!” By creating a tense atmosphere, Soderbergh conveys an uncomfortable message: the next time you get sick, it could be your last, and you could drag down one-sixth of the planet with you.

With the feel of a documentary and the tone of a thriller, Contagion challenges the notions of everyday human culture and life.