I never went to see a movie with such a strange and conflicting feeling. The Joker handles the same topic, the Avian Flu pandemic, and is coming out at the same time.

Is it good or bad for my book? Is The Joker going to be redundant now or is it going to fly?

Contagion entertains a similar idea and is filmed by a brilliant director with a stellar cast of characters. What are my chances now? It is a movie – does it mean that my book will never become one? Will people lose interest to the topic and never buy my novel?

Or is it the opposite – a fortunate coincidence which is going to make people think and talk about the Avian Flu, and maybe make them buy my book?

Having watched the movie, I hope it’s the latter. My book is not about the Avian Flu pandemic management. It is local and personal. It is about a family living and then surviving a mass calamity in today’s New York City.

Contagion takes a sweeping prospective, with government and CDC involvement. Grains of personal stories embedded in its midst seem to convey simple moral: If you transgress by cheating on your husband (G. Paltrow) you die. Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon) loves his son but we find out it’s not his son but that of the cheating wife. The son dies too while the father reunites with his beloved daughter from his previous marriage. The CDC chief (L. Fishburne) transgresses by warning his girlfriend to get out of Chicago but redeems himself by giving away his vaccine to the janitor’s son. A blogger (J. Law) and creator of leftist conspiracy theories gets arrested casting a shadow over the morals of his fellow-journalists.

The movie doesn’t delve deep into characters’ struggle and survival. Its humanity comes in episodic illustrations of the pandemic and is covered with biblical overtones.

But the development and spread of the main protagonist – the Flu itself – is masterly done, and may be the ideal background for a book like mine, which tells a human story of two doctors, a little boy, a spiritual healer, and a crazy nanny in a small setting, Stuyvesant Town in New York City.

Any thoughts about the movie or its possible impact on my book?