BY: CLAIRE KIM
Released back in 2011, yet arising in popularity this past March, the film Contagion is definitely a film to watch during this pandemic unless fictional paranoia gets the best of you.
Firstly, I would like to point out how scarily similar the film and our current reality dealing with the coronavirus is; it’s almost as if this film was produced knowing that this sort of pandemic would occur in the future. From the idea that the virus came from “bats” to the setting of the film in China as the hub of the virus, the details align up almost identically to that of our modern-day situation with the coronavirus. Other keywords and ideas that mirrored our present pandemic were: social distancing, CDC guidelines, rush for Purell hand sanitizers, empty streets, high R-naught, masks worn at all times, fake news, political corruption, and the struggle to find an effective vaccine.
I guess the one main difference between the film and our current reality is that we still haven’t able to find a vaccine, and the prospect of such success is still really low even after months of laboratory experimentation.
I mean movies are movies after all.
One part of the film that really caught my attention was a scene in which city streets, plastered with posters, chanted the phrase, “prophet or profit”. This phrase essentially brings to light the problem our contemporary society is facing as of right now, the problem of using the virus as a marketing mechanism to increase profit or escalate the extremity of the pandemic to create “followers of a prophet”, igniting paranoia.
It’s sad how accurate the phrase is, especially coming from a movie that was filmed at least a decade ago…
In terms of my overall impression of the movie, I think it really captured the main problems our society is facing with the coronavirus, only a little more exaggerated to create an engaging plotline. I don’t know if I would watch it again, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend that you do.
I mean, how often is it that reality is actually depicted in a movie?