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RETRO FILM REVIEW: CONTAGION (12A) ESP RATING: 4/5

This has been trending heavily at the top of Netflix’s most watched listings – and it’s fairly obvious as to why.

Hence why this film, made by Oscar-winning Traffic filmmaker Steven Soderbergh nine years ago, deserves a mention due to its ‘alleged’ similarities to the start of the current Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The setting bares plenty of resemblance to theories of how this pandemic started, it’s a Hong Kong food market instead of China, but diseases in bats and the virus spreading by respiratory droplets are in the right ‘ballpark’ in comparing accuracy to where the world is right now.

The disease used in this drama has a far larger thirty per cent mortality rate – and causes more social unrest and crime waves we fortunately haven’t experienced on this scale – but before Covid-19 it uses the H1N1 influenza and SARS viruses as an influence, so there’s definitely an extra layer of intrigue added into this star-studded film.

Which basically starts when Gwyneth Paltrow’s Beth Emhoff returns home to suburban Minneapolis sick from a business trip in Asia, then within two days she dies in her husband Mitch’s (Matt Damon) arms with this mystery illness – and it spirals out of control from there.

Throw in a plethora of Oscar-winners and nominees in the form of Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Laurence Fishburne – with their characters having various links to the medical profession – then you have a story that is topically tense with the usual production values that come with a Soderbergh movie.

The last half hour peters off a tad – but Contagion for the most part is fascinatingly infectious.

Rating: 4/5 

Gavin Miller

Cast: Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, Jennifer Ehle, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Elliott Gould, Sanaa Lathan, John Hawkes & Gwyneth Paltrow

Running Time: 1 Hr 46 Mins

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Legend

Written by ESP Magazine

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