In these times of self-isolation, it’s easy to sit back and plot the type of coronavirus movie you’d like to make. Maybe it’s one about an embattled team of scientists and their desperate search for a vaccine. Maybe it’s one about an estranged father who has to fight his way through police lines in order to give his son a birthday present. Maybe – because not everything can be a gritty drama – it’s a hilarious comedy about a man whose trousers fall down whenever he coughs.
Because, incredibly, Keshvari appears to have done just that. Entitled Corona, the film takes place entirely within the confines of an elevator. Neighbours of different backgrounds enter – a Chinese lady, a pregnant woman, a wheelchair-bound Nazi with a swastika tattoo on his forehead – and panic begins to spread just as quickly as the disease. Or, as the movie’s tagline puts it, “Fear is a Virus”.
The movie, which starred actors like Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, offered surprisingly well-researched insight into pandemic procedurals and worst-case scenarios
People across the world are renting it, trying to stream it online and binge-watching it… nine years after its release. iTunes has listed it the fourth-most rented movie now, after the US declared a state of emergency. It is also the second most-watched movie in Warner Bros.’ catalogue in 2020.