March 29, 2014

Flu: Disastrous Symptoms

Say you could only keep one of the five senses. Which would it be? Inevitably, the choice boils down to hearing or seeing. I once heard a persuasive argument made for touch, but not even the most extreme foodie has ever stepped forward to argue for taste. And who would pick smell?! But here's a question you may not have considered: If you had to exhibit one flu symptom which would that be? Sneezing or coughing? I bet most people would pick sneezing. Sneezes may make the eyes water, the nose run, and mucous spray everywhere but coughing feels closer to death. Coughing rattles the bones. Coughing hurts.

There's so many reasons coughs are worse. They're more troubling to hear (whereas a sneeze can sound cute). They can go on interminably (whereas a sneeze tends to come singularly or in pairs). And whoever heard of someone's sneezing keeping someone else up all night? Coughs are interruptive, ravaging, breath-stealing... Coughing sucks!

A cough is also a heck of a lot easier to act than a sneeze, which no question contributes to the unnerving effectiveness of the coughing scenes in the disaster pic Flu. Watch the various actors/extras hacking until they spit up cough syrup -- I mean, blood -- and you'll flinch. The H5N1 virus affecting the bronchials of Bundang feels real, and, since the coughers are often shot in lurid colors, horrific.

The epidemiologist (Ae Soo) who identifies the virus isn't scared by coughs though. Defying all health codes, she's disregard potential global repercussions caused by sneaking her infected daughter (Park Min-ah) across various borders. She knows the fatality rate. She knows the contagiousness. She doesn't care. Rescue worker (Jung Hyuk) is similarly reckless. In love with the irrational doctor, he's constantly freeing likely carriers and abandoning the sick little girl to perform random acts of dubious kindness. Perhaps director Kim Sung-su and his cast/crew are suffering from a third flu symptom: Fever! That's been known to cloud judgment, affect vision and trigger groans of discomfort. Just like Flu.

1 comment:

  1. At least Park Min-ah was cute. She's got a great career ahead of her if she doesn't grow up...