Contagion movie accurately simulates global pandemic response

Maddie Cox, Entertainment Editor

Contagion is the 2014 award-winning realistic thriller that started picking up recognition and spiked in popularity after the recent global pandemic of COVID-19.

The movie is based around a disease by the name of MEV-1 that begins to spread after a woman spends a night at a casino and travels back to Minnesota, taking the virus with her. From there, the virus begins to evolve quickly and many people die within days of contracting it.

With multiple perspectives taking place in the movie from all around the globe, it’s hard not to get enwrapped within all the individual reactions to the pandemic. Steven Soderbergh, the director of the movie, does a phenomenal job at capturing the audience’s attention with multiple storylines without overdoing it to the point it becomes hard to keep up with.

With a popular cast including such names as Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law, I assumed that the movie would have made me feel more detached with the overused actors, but to my surprise the character portrayal was actually quite immersive, even with having multiple perspectives. I was emotional within the first 10 minutes after Mitch Emhoff’s (Matt Damon) 6-year-old son died in his sleep from the virus.

Many viewers who had previously seen the movie saw many compelling similarities between how MEV-1 played out and how we, as a society, are currently taking care of COVID-19. The movie simulated social distancing, just like how it is currently, except the minimal distance was 10ft instead of 6ft.

Other similarities were the opening of testing centers, overflowing hospitals and morgues, panic throughout grocery stores despite the virus not being as serious as it would be later on, the increase in crime rates, and, of course, lockdowns in cities and states.

I was shocked at how the movie left me tense and on the edge on my seat. Rewatching it now during our own pandemic gave me chills at how realistic it simulated how the government would take care of a widespread disease. I would’ve never thought a movie about a fatal virus would leave me with a tense aftertaste, let alone have me so personally engaged.

Overall, Contagion touches on a situation that society had been quite unaware of how to handle up until this date. I rate Contagion 5 out of 5 stars for its accuracy and brilliant portrayal of a realistic global pandemic.