Title – Side Effects (2013)
Director – Steven Soderbergh (The Girlfriend Experience)
Cast – Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Plot – Soderbergh’s thriller based around the pharmaceutical industry involves depressed Emily (Mara) who is prescribed a newly available drug by her shrink Jonathan Banks (Law). After an episode involving Emily and her freshly released from prison husband Martin (Tatum) the drug and also Dr. Banks come into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
“Everybody knows everything.”
Review by Eddie on 11/07/2013
I want to start off with the question – how many times has Soderbergh announced that “this” will be my last picture? Side Effects was purported to be the last film made by the quick working and divisive filmmaker, a statement which has yet again proved wrong. One almost wishes that the statement would become true, not that Side Effects is bad by any means but is it anything special? Absolutely not.
Side Effects reek’s of a film that was made on autopilot. Autopilot being an unquestionably good tool to use but not necessarily in the film world. Side Effects suffers from this case of almost filmatic laziness, it plods along from slight twist to meagre turn telling an interesting story in a pretty generic way.
The story which centres on the downward spiral of Mara’s Emily and her dealings with Law’s Dr. Banks is enough to keep the film from complete mediocrity. Mara does well with her role as the hard to gage depressed central figure and Law is given more to do than he usually receives as the equally hard to gage Doctor caught up in a case of who did what or what went wrong. Tatum and Zeta-Jones however receive pretty short change barely registering a pulse as the supporting characters; females watching must be warned to not watch the movie for Tatum whose screen time is pretty minimal.
Side Effects is a completely ok thriller, much better watched with the least amount of plot knowledge as possible. Soderbergh has a habit of making films all over the quality scale from the highs of Ocean’s Eleven to the lows of Bubble, Side Effects sits squarely in the middle, offering up just enough to provide an entertaining ride through the murky world of depressants and mystery.
3 pills out of 5