Honest Movie Review of Containment
Containment, the storey of a viral plague that erupts in Atlanta and the quarantine zone established to control its spread, was a 13-episode limited series that aired on The CW in the spring and summer of 2016. It, like all CW shows, is now available on Netflix.
Containment didn’t get much attention at the time because it aired during that odd time of year that isn’t a traditional TV “season,” and it received mixed critical reviews. For the subject matter, Metamaiden and I both thought it was a fun show that brought some things to the table that we rarely see when a plague is the main subject.
Containment is set in and filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. Both Major Lex Carnahan and Officer Jake Riley work for the local police force. Lex is on the outside of the quarantine zone, while Jake is on the inside.
Jana Mayfield works in a local office. Dr. Victor Cannerts is a CDC infectious disease specialist who is at the Atlanta hospital where the outbreak begins, Teresa Keaton is a pregnant high schooler, and Katie Frank is a teacher who has taken her students on a field trip to tour the hospital.
When the quarantine zone is closed, all four, as well as Katie’s son and her students, are inside. Dr. Sabine Lommers works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is sent to Atlanta to control the outbreak and works in the command centre outside the quarantine zone. Leo Greene is an investigative journalist who collaborates with Lex to learn the truth about the outbreak and its containment.
Containment delivers a brooding sense of tension and terror that keeps the heart-rate pounding and the sweat pouring, thanks to an excellent premise that finds striving artist (and estranged husband and father) Mark quarantined in his apartment complex with other residents and the ever-looming threat of a deadly virus.
It’s refreshing to say that much is kept hidden from the audience; nothing is revealed – no one knows what the virus is, where it comes from, and no one ever sees what it really does.
By the end of the film, no one knows how widespread it has become. Containment’s greatest asset is its ambiguity, and this is where it excels. The entire plot is not explained to the viewer through tedious exposition; the director understands that a satisfying answer to all of the questions raised cannot be provided, as has been the case with many other films with similarly intriguing concepts.
Containment maintains a consistently enigmatic atmosphere and evokes a desire to rush through each scene, not because the film needs to end, but because it arouses an appetite for anticipation. Even if this appetite is never completely satisfied, the film is still an exciting experience.
Mark (Lee Ross), the protagonist, does not immediately capture the viewer’s attention as an entirely engrossing character. However, by the end of the film, Mark’s companionship with, and desire to protect, the film’s token child reveals him to be a compassionate man.
He longs to find his own son, but not in the typical overwrought, melodramatic way. Gabriel Senior’s quality as Nicu is pleasantly surprising – despite not saying a single word, he produces the movie’s most heartbreaking, and arguably best, performance.
Despite this, it appears that the film is missing a half-hour. Perhaps the lack of clarity clouded good judgement, but Containment lacks something that would have made the film a complete experience.
Despite its flaws, such as clichéd characters and a sloppy script, the film inspires a strong desire to explore more of the world that director Neil Mcenery-West has created. A sequel, on the other hand, would do nothing but ruin the mystery. It appears to be one of life’s catch-22 situations.