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Archive for the ‘Side Effects’ Category

Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh had a pretty dang good year last year with the action/espionage thriller Haywire and the critically acclaimed Contagion.  He shows no signs of slowing down with his newest suspense drama Side Effects.

The film stars Rooney Mara as Emily Taylor, a woman trying to keep it together as her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from prison after four years for insider trading.  Martin promises to make everything right again and get back the life they once had together.  Emily is having a harder time of adjusting than she thought she would.  She goes to see a Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) after she drives her car in to a wall, unable to adjust to Martin being back.

Dr. Banks begins to prescribe her anti-depressant drugs in the hopes that they will help straighten out her life.  The drugs begin making her sick, and she has trouble sleeping, so she begins to try other drugs that friends suggest and that she sees advertised.  Dr. Banks soon finds out he is not her first psychiatrist and meets Victoria (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who knows a lot about Emily’s past.

Emily comes across a new drug, Ablixa, which seems to be solving a lot of her problems, except it comes with a new side effect.  Emily sleep walks, cooking full dinners and setting the table at times, but it’s working for her.  The only problem is that these side effects may come at a larger price.

Side Effects is an extremely entertaining thriller while also raising some interesting questions about prescription drugs, and the amount of money they bring in, and who they bring the money in to.  The film is a pretty realistic portrayal of events that could spiral out of control in this industry.  What’s interesting is that for the majority of the film you are having trouble pin-pointing what it really is about, and who the players involved really are.

Soderbergh is always good, but I think he’s a little bit better than good here, pitting these four main characters against each other.  The acting is great and you’re constantly guessing as to what the motives of those four characters are.

The beginning of the year is always a rough time for solid movies coming out with the Oscars coming up, but Side Effects is a nice little sleeper of a film that you should check out if you have the chance.

Grade: A-