Tuesday, March 8, 2011

#214. Carriers (2009)


Directed By: David Pastor, Àlex Pastor

Starring: Chris Pine, Piper Perabo, Lou Taylor Pucci





Tag line: "The rules are simple. You break them, you die..."

Trivia:  This movie premiered at the Fantasy Filmfest in Germany






Released in 2009, Carriers takes place in a world ravaged by a deadly virus. That's the setting for the film, but it's not really the story. As told from the perspective of a handful of survivors, Carriers isn't as interested in the end of the world as it is the end of human decency. 

Brian (Chris Pine) and his brother Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci) are on their way to a beach-side resort, a site that, in happier times, was a favorite vacation spot.  It's their hope this isolated area will prove the perfect place to lay low, and wait for the virus to burn itself out. Along for the ride are Brian's girlfriend, Bobby (Piper Perabo) and Kate (Emily VanCamp), a loner they picked up along the way. Brian and Danny have agreed to follow some simple rules during their journey, key among them being to avoid anyone who might be infected. But there are a lot of survivors between them and the beach, and turning their back on them all is easier said than done. 

Carriers successfully creates a post-apocalyptic world without providing any clues as to how it got that way in the first place. We do learn the virus originated in Asia (when Brian, Danny and the others are sitting by a campfire, they witness the summary execution of an Asian man, whose body is strung up, and a sign reading “Chinks Brought This” placed around his neck), which is pretty much the limit of what the movie reveals. But then, Carriers isn't about the virus, or it's annihilation of society. It's about the struggle for life, and the effect survival has on humanity as a whole. 

All four main characters start out with one goal: to get to the beach. Between them, they agree that, if they're to make it alive, they'll have to avoid other people at all costs.  However, they quickly learn doing so isn't as easy as they'd hoped it would be. Early on, the four come across a father (Christopher Meloni) and his young daughter (Kiernan Shipka), who are in need of assistance. Suddenly, there are real people involved, and it causes a rift between the brothers: Brian wants to turn his back on them, but Danny feels differently, and thinks they should offer help. Throughout the remainder of the film, we'll witness similar encounters, each raising a question not so much of what it takes to survive, but what it means to survive.

A doctor (Mark Moses) they meet at a clinic sums it up perfectly when he says, “Sometimes choosing life is choosing a more painful form of death”, a statement that extends beyond the physical to the mental and spiritual as well. The body may survive, but is it worth the loss of one's humanity?








4 comments:

Movie Guy Steve said...

"cast a light not so much on what it takes to survive, but what it means to survive."

Bravo. What an excellent distinction!

Dave Becker said...

Movie Guy Steve: Thank you, sir. I appreciate the compliment.

Thanks for stopping by!

Paula said...

I wanted to see this in the cinema, but it never played anywhere near me & I just forgot about it...adding it to my queue.

Dave B. said...

Paula: Thanks for the comment

Unfortunately, it never played anywhere near me, either. But it was a very good film, and I think you'll enjoy it.

Thanks again!