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How does the director of Contagion (2011) communicate a sense of hope for humanity against his grim setting of the plot?

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792789W 139 Stage 2 English Communications ? Text Response: Film Study How does the director communicate a sense of hope for humanity against his grim setting of the plot? ________________ Word count: 1,008 Contagion is a fast-paced drama-thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. The movie is based around a deadly virus killing 26 million people globally. The film has a mature, well-established cast to cater for a mature age audience consisting of Matt Damon (Mitch Emhoff), Laurence Fishburne (Dr. Ellis Cheever), Jude Law (Allan Krumwiede) and Kate Winslet (Dr. Erin Mears). Amongst the grim setting painted by Soderbergh through the use of dark lighting, lacking colour use and minimal makeup on characters, the audience?s perception of hope for humanity is maintained through the powerful technique of characterisation. Dr. Ellis Cheever has a high position at the US Centre for Disease Control in finding a solution to the virus. Soderbergh makes evident through Dr. Cheever?s dialogue, that whilst having to maintain a high level of professionalism, substantiation of compassion is shown through significant amount of the general concern held for his co-worker, Dr. ...read more.


In her dying breath, Dr Mears continued to place her needs last, by giving up her large, warm jacket to a shivering young man. The scenes when Dr Mears has the virus, lighting is bleak and dull, to emphasise the effort that is being made to continue her care for others. Much alike Dr. Cheever, Soderbergh chooses to portray Dr. Mears in this way to preserve a sense of hope from the audience, that despite the global-epidemic, good nature continues to be evident. Though Dr. Cheever and Dr. Mears signify hope for humanity through glimpses of empathy for other characters, Soderbergh displayed a solid sense of family value through characters Mitch and Jory Emhoff. Jory debuts in the film with a strong care for her father [Jory Emhoff to Mitch Emhoff: No. She doesn't need me. She's got Dan. I live here. You don't have anybody. I'm not leaving you!] Regardless of the social life that Jory has had to sacrifice in choosing to stay with her father, she knows her father?s number one priority is keeping her alive ? even if that means not being able to be with her boyfriend until a vaccine is created. ...read more.


Another large-scale risk was shown by Dr Ally Hextall through testing a vaccine on herself, after realising how long the formal testing process could take. [Dr. Ally Hextall to Mr Hextall: Do you remember Dr. Barry Marshall? He thought that bacteria caused ulcers not stress - gave himself the bug and then cured himself. You taught me about him. I'm testing my vaccine]. Soderbergh chose to display the risking of one?s life to portray ?the needs of one, outweigh the needs of many? to further sustain the audience?s perception of hope for humanity. Alongside an international fight to save humanity, evidence of hope for the survival of moral ethics in civilization is portrayed through characterisation. The character build-up of those working in high-professions includes the different ways that personal integrity shines through an originally solid exterior. Soderbergh carefully depicts these types of characters as they are model figures that influence civilisation. In representation of family values, Soderbergh incorporates a strong bond between father and daughter. It is through these characters that Soderbergh presents a clear sense of hope to the audience amongst a grim plot. Stephanie Rinaldi ...read more.

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