Viewed – 09 May 2012 DVD
This was compelling. With the memory of virus outbreaks like bird flu, swine flu etc causing much furor at the time, the idea of a virus that spreads across the globe, quickly infecting and killing millions seems wholly believable, and to be honest … terrifying. Yet this is not a horror movie, more so a convincing portrayal of an epidemic and the people whose lives it affects, some tragically.
Directed by the acclaimed Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Oceans Eleven) this has an ensemble cast of recognizable names including Kate Winslett, Jude Law and Matt Damon that all deliver very real performances, and is shot in a semi-documentary fashion, that replaces Hollywood glitz and action with human drama and emotion. I especially liked how it not only showed the government and scientists tackling the outbreak, but also how the general public can turn on each other in their desperation. And although it could be easily compared to Dustin Hoffman hit ‘Outbreak’, this proved the more earnest and thought-provoking. Granted the pace drops a bit in the middle, and the ‘vaccine’ seems to come out of nowhere … but overall this has it where it counts.
So to conclude, this was a refreshing drama that didn’t need to rely on thrills and spills to tell an absorbing story filled with character and social commentary … and I thought it was very good indeed.
Verdict: 4 /5