I’m a member of the Ster-Kinekor Movie Club. Earlier this week, I received an email from them. “There will be an early screening of the film “Contagion” on Thursday 20 October at Eastgate Shopping Centre, and Film Critic Barry Ronge will be there.” I’d heard good comments about the film, so I quickly bought a ticket. On Thursday, I went to Eastgate and had a sushi dinner before heading to the Cinema. I happened to meet Barry Ronge, as we arrived at the same time.
“Contagion” was supposed to start at eight o’ clock. Something happened, and it was delayed. Before the screening, there was a competition. Three goodie bags were up for grabs. In order to win one, you had to be the first to answer a question correctly. The questions were:
- “For which Stephen Soderbergh directed film did Julia Roberts win an Oscar?” Erin Brockovich.
- “Which Stephen Soderbergh directed film of a casino robbery was a remake of a rat-pack film?” Ocean’s Eleven, or either of its two sequels.
- “For which film did Gwyneth Paltrow win an Oscar?” Shakespeare in Love.
I was the first to answer the second question correctly, and I won a goodie bag.
The contents were:
- A “Contagion” shirt, cap and pen;
- Harry Potter 3-D glasses;
- A CD of the SOundtrack to the remake of “Arthur”, starring Russel Brand;
- A Sherlock Holmes notepad, and;
- A Sherlock Holmes key that turned out to be a corkscrew.
After the challenge, the film played. Plot synopsis is as follows: Gwyneth Paltrow plays a businesswoman on a business trip in Hong Kong. While there, she falls ill. When she gets home, she suffers a fit. Her husband (played by Matt Damon) frantically calls an ambulance, but she dies in hospital. Her son gets infected but her husband remains immune. When the woman is autopsied, the coroners get a shock. From there, the CDC and WHO are alerted. In the meantime, the disease which killed the woman spreads with alarming speed, and the experts (Kate Winslet as a CDC worker, Laurence Fishburne as the head of the CDC, and Marion Cotillard as a WHO employee) race to find out how the disease originated, contain it, and find a cure.
I enjoyed the film. I’d give it a 7 out of 10, and if someone offered me free tickets, I’d watch it again.
Barry Ronge told us that Ster-Kinekor arranged this as a trial, and would we say if we wanted more early screenings? My answer to that is “Yes”.