ER doctor Tsuyoshi Matsuoka receives a patient with a virus unlike anything he’s seen before. His symptoms include high fever, convulsions, vomiting of blood and multiple organ failure. Could this be a new form of influenza? Or is it some other deadly variety of virus?
As the situation worsens and more cases arrive, a medical officer from the World Health Organization named Eiko Kobayashi is dispatched to the area. At the rate that the virus is spreading, the entire city’s transportation system and infrastructure would be brought to a halt within 3 months. Within 6 months it could spread to tens of millions of people–reaching a death toll far worse than any war…
At over 2 hours long Pandemic combines a disaster movie, love story and psychological thriller.
It’s particularly moving to see Tokyo deserted and empty during the film (in light of recent events) and the horror witnessed is intensely psychological.
How would anyone cope with being told they could not leave town when confronted with the prospect of dying from a virus that is decimating the local population?
It’s also uncomfortable to watch the convicing performances as the pain seems etched accross the characters’ faces when they are witnessing their loved ones slowly dying from the virus. There are some truly strong performances from the cast and the director appears to have done his medical homework as demonstrated when describing in depth the virus and possible vaccines.
The plot is not unbelievable and could happen to any country in the modern world. That’s probably the key aspect of the film which makes it really frightening.
With so many disasters taking place in the world at the moment, this is a harsh reminder of what can happen when someone travels from one country to another, knowing full well that they have a disease. In a society where illness is prevalent in many forms both physically and mentally, it’s still quite terrifying to think that we still don’t have cures for most fatal illnesses.
The stark reality of Pandemic is that any country under threat of an airborne virus would have trouble coping with the impact both on it’s citizens and its state infrastructure. And of course, the worst case scenario being that the virus could spread worldwide and kill most, if not all of us.
Overall Pandemic is fast paced, tense and most strikingly, makes you think about your own mortality.
At over 2 hours long and with subtitles it did eventually begin to wane a little. As the film began to lose momentum half way through, I found it hard to maintain my interest.
Thankfully though the pace does return and there are some decidely good twists in the tale as it progresses.
Pandemic is ideal to watch if you have a viewing partner who does not share your interest in pure horror. As it’s not violent in any way, it provides a good compromise – fear, withough being too extreme.