Contagion Review

All great art is about something deeper than it cares to admit. On the surface Contagion maybe about a global pandemic, but beneath its masterfully crafted layers, it is about the only thing in the world that seems to spread faster than the virus in question in the movie – fear.

Steven Soderbergh uses the same hyperlink narrative style he popularized with his 2000 hit Traffic, and surprisingly, it yields even better results. Far reaching in its scope, Contagion brings about a feeling of oneness gradually through its narrative, in my opinion to highlight the collective emotions of empathy and fear the world trembles with irrespective of nationality in the times of such a pandemic.

Any talk about this movie would irreverent if it does not deem the medical world aspect of this tale worthy enough to broach. More than anything, I appreciated Contagion for not dumbing down its content so as to suit the general audiences. Although I am sure Soderbergh kept the science intact because of his integrity towards his work, it further accentuates the tension the movie generates because our incapability to comprehend the technical complications of dealing with a pandemic of such seriousness further helps in creating a feeling of helplessness in our minds. This helplessness further brought me closer to the hearts of the people in Contagion who live in constant fear not because of the deadly nature of the virus, but because of their ignorance and disillusioned nature regarding the resolving of this issue.

With a cast so large and so talented, it will be monotonous on my part to call out each one of them and appreciate them, for  every cast member shines in their role. However, I wouldn’t get a sound sleep tonight if I do not mention how Kate Winslet gives a shattering performance as Dr. Erin Mears. Whenever she is onscreen, Winslet establishes herself as the emotional backbone of this movie which is a stellar achievement in a cast that includes the likes of Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon among others.

The only fallacy in this near-perfect movie seems to be the sub-plot involving a blogger who utilizes this pandemic to generate profits. While I cannot make a case against the fact that this subplot falls short compared to others, this movie could not have been complete without it as well. How can a movie about the wide-reaching effects of a pandemic gives miss to the culpability the fourth estate amounts to in such situations ?

Contagion is a spine-tingling experience which goes about its matters in a discreet manner, and in turn, succeeds in creating an atmosphere which helps the viewer to pay attention and feel empathy for all the characters of this movie who are interspersed geographically but connected emotionally. And the last five minutes of this movie make a good case for it to contain the scariest ending of any movie ever made till date.

RATING :- 9.4 / 10

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Se7en Review – David Fincher Series

David Fincher’s Se7en is about Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who is in the last days of his career. He is unsure about the new detective who has been brought in to replace him, Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt). But, Somerset is forced into reconsidering his retirement when he encounters his final case : a serial killer killing random people using Seven Deadly Sins as his modus operandi.

I am kickstarting my David Fincher series with my second favourite David Fincher movie, which is second only because it leaves you completely drained. If you are in for a David Fincher marathon, I would recommend watching Se7en the last. Se7en is a very tense psychological thriller. But fortunately, it never refrains from being a commercial fare. Brad Pitt is perfect in this movie. He really deserved a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance. Morgan Freeman deserved a Best Actor nomination for his role. Morgan Freeman is so subtle, so controlled in such chaos. And that is not a vice, for it is because of his time in the city.

The natural chemistry between Pitt and Freeman is the life of the movie. Pitt as the new rookie and Freeman as the experienced detective goes like bread and butter in this case. Se7en, along with The Silence of the Lambs, are the only movies I think that qualify both as a thriller and horror in equal proportions. When you are watching Se7en, you will be literally chewing your fingers because the nails will be on the floor once you see that Victor scene.

The dialogues of Se7en are one of the best is cinema. The way it keeps you engaged ! You may expect a cat and mouse chase throughout the movie when you begin with Se7en, but it gradually transcends into a moody, dull, chilling and deeply disturbing Before Sunrise. The movie constitutes of conversations between Pitt, Morgan and Paltrow in its running time and the conversations are witty and philosophical. We see the sort of father-son relationship of Pitt and Freeman coming into inception within these conversations. The initial rivalry between Pitt and Morgan’s characters develops into a father son relationship. This is well apparent when Somerset is about to call Mills a ‘son-of-a-bitch’ but stops at ‘son-of-a..’ because he has begun considering himself his father. A father who cares deeply about his son and won’t let any harm befall on him.

Se7en is a deeply philosophical and stark realistic movie as well. The city where these events are set into motion is the most horrible place on Earth. It never stops raining there. Se7en is shot very intelligently. Fincher lets us hear the crowds shouting at night and disturbing Somerset’s sleep. We are given grim words and some scenes of the city where we are given glimpses of the horror unleashed. It is the evil of the world put into a single place, which also happens to be the place where our protagonists resides. There is a saying ‘One rotten tomatoes in a basket spoil all the good ones’. That is what has happened here as well. Our serial killer is actually a good individual who is driven to the point of insanity by the evil happening around him and himself turns to the evil when he decides to take a stand against the evil. It is about the thin line existing between good and evil and about the individuals caught in the middle and also puts forth a question ‘Who decides what is evil ? ‘

The cinematography is in tone with the flick. There is a visually arresting scene in a library where Morgan Freeman is standing with green study lamps all around him. The scenes in the city are darkly lit signifying the evil prevailing in the city while the scenes where our protagonists receive clues and the scenes in the library are well lit, signifying that knowledge is the only factor which can lead a horrendous society to goodness.

The score by Howard Shore is mortifying and is a proof that he can adjust to every genre, and is as good as his score of Lord Of The Rings. There are many people who said the ending sucks. Well, they didn’t muster up enough concentration while watching Se7en because in a scene Somerset warns Mills about the case beforehand by saying ‘You know, this case is not going to have a happy ending.

Se7en is a thrilling and dark venture into the world of psychological thrillers and has superb performances, a brilliant script and stupendous cinematography and a nerve-wracking score, and is a benchmark in its genre and is one of David Fincher’s greatest works.

 Rating : 9.4 / 10

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