Matt Damon is one of my favorite actors. The Bourne Trilogy, Good Will Hunting, The Good Shepard, etc. His filmography is full of movies that entertain, intrigue, and – most of all – tell stories. Watch any Matt Damon movie, and you will leave the theater feeling as if you have read an entire book, and there are no questions left unanswered…
…Unless you watch Contagion. Now, before you stop reading, I won’t give any type of spoilers away for the movie, except for the fact ((***SPOILER ALERT THROUGHOUT THE BLOG***) that there are seizures in the movie. Overall, Contagion was probably the best movie I have watched in theaters in 2011. There was intrigue, suspense, and an overall great story. But after watching the movie, it left one question in my mind: Could I be patient zero?
For those who don’t know me, over the last 5-6 years, I have suffered from random seizures. I have been to doctors, had tests run, tried all different kinds of medicines, and as of today, a cause has yet to be determined. I have had three seizures while driving, and as of yet, I have been lucky not to harm anyone (including myself), and it has been determined that I should no longer drive OR live on my own, at least until an actual reason has been figured out. I was resigned to the fact that I had some rare neurological disease until I watched Contagion.
The movie (basically) has to do with a disease with a high mortality rate that has stretched throughout the world, causing a mortality rate that is far beyond comprehension. Originally, I figured that it was a good way to tell a story; but the more of the movie I watched, the more I realized something: I should be in the movie. The people who died had seizures before they died. The doctors have no idea what caused their illness/what caused their death. The people are dumbfounded. Sounds like every day of my life.
While I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but think if maybe what was going on in the movie is what was going on with me. People randomly having seizures, their families not knowing what caused them. These people never had any history of seizures; they never had any type of issues previously, yet all of a sudden they are having severe seizures that (eventually) caused death? What the fuck?
So after watching Contagion, I have been asking myself a series of questions: What did I touch in the months leading up to my first seizure (impossible to figure out)? Has anyone that I was in contact with around that time been afflicted with the same issues that I have (nope)? What did I eat (nothing at my aunt’s house, considering she can’t cook)?
The movie basically is a lesson in human cleanliness: wash your hands after you use the bathroom, touch a surface that you know isn’t clean, etc., otherwise you could start a worldwide epidemic. So if there is any doubt in your mind that the person who you just met didn’t wash his hands….don’t touch them.
Now the real question arises in my head…..even though it was a movie, what if it were true? What if my seizures were brought on by touching a surface that some unsanitary person touched after changing their tampon/shaking their dick? Could it be….because someone has no idea of individual hygiene, I have been doomed to a life of suffering? Could it be….because someone has never heard of Irish Spring, I will forever be worried about catching some unknown disease and thinking that my next seizure could be the last event I experience…..?
…..Or could I have just watched a movie that played on the human psyche, and our trait (as humans) to fear what we do not understand? Did I watch a movie that played on the fact that all humans are inherently afraid of the things that we have little understanding about?
Either way, Contagion is a movie that people who enjoy non-conventional thrillers should watch. It is a movie that brings forth the most elementary fear of all of us….the fear of the unknown.
*** Out of ***** stars for Contagion