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Contagion | The Clapper Bored


“Contagion” is one of the better productions you’ll see, this whole year. There are so many things that are done so well that I can understand the accolades and acclaim the movie is attracting. Seriously, I wouldn’t know where to start. Should I talk about the acting? The dialogue? The music? The cinematography? The edit? There are so many great things to talk about. But there is one way, and this is a big one, in which the movie is seriously lacking — story. I might go so far as to say that it really has no story, at least — not in the traditional sense.

I would dare anyone to name the protagonist of “Contagion”. Try as you may, you won’t find one. What you will find, however, is a ridiculously large collection of bit-characters, each of whom is introduced only to be disposed of, without following any sort of arc.

Speaking of arcs, does this movie have one? I don’t think so. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m sorry, I like my movies to have a beginning, middle, and end. That format has been working for hundreds of years, long before film even existed. Like the non-existent protagonist, I would dare anyone to find the climactic finale, in “Contagion”. It doesn’t exist.

So, without a protagonist, following a three-act arc, what we are left with, in “Contagion”, is basically nothing more than a dramatic re-enactment, like the kind you might see on the Discovery Channel. We get to learn how our government might react to an epidemic outbreak, how society might break down, and how we might eventually return to normalcy.

Without following a traditional three-act story or having a strong central protagonist, “Contagion” is nothing more than pulp-science, wrapped up in pretty production values, and I find that to be rather boring.

By Joseph Weindl. To see more of Joseph’s feature film visit The Antihero Website.

Title: Contagion
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring : Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Some people who haven't won Oscars...
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 106 Minutes

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