Cast: Rooney Mara, Jude Law, ,Channing Tatumn
Writer: Scott Z. Burns
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Emily Taylor(Rooney Mara) has been suffering from depression ever since her husband Martin(Channing Tatum) was put in prison for insider trading. Upon him being released from prison, Emily becomes even more depressed; so much, to the point that she slams her car into a brick wall. At this point, after awakening in the hospital Dr. Jonathan Banks(Jude Law), who is overseeing the case, decides to prescribe a new anti-depression pill. Returning home after a week of taking the new medication Emily is feeling great, like a whole new person, has a lot of energy, and is finally able to be intimate with her husband once again. Ironically, there are a few side-effects of the drug and that is where I stop talking about this movie and it’s plot. Seriously people. I don’t care what you think you know about the film, there is plenty to keep you guessing. I’m not going to give away any spoilers. I’ll just say that you won’t be bored when you watch this.
The film is an exquisite murder mystery where a new clue keeps getting revealed at every turn. At one point, I thought that I had it figured out, but screenwriter Scott Z. Burns adds a few simplistic surprises that kept me engaged with it until the very end. Now, many may be able to unravel the clues a little faster than me, but even so, don’t let it dampen the experience. That is part of the fun, watching mysteries and checking to see if you are right, which is fitting of the film. The cast members all do a fine job and I bought into all of them, and their motives too. Rooney Mara is even better here then she was in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and I really dug all of the changes her character goes through. On top of that Jude Law’s character evolves throughout the film and it is both predictable and surprising. it simply lends credibility to the film maker for the ability to craft an expert story and characters.
Steven Soderbergh has never made a bad movie. Sure he’s made mediocre ones like “Full Frontal“, and “Ocean’s 12“, but I have never finished watching any of his flicks and thought it was a waste of my time. The man has a gift; Soderbergh has the ability to mold even the most armature, unknown professionals and form them into the perfect individual for the role . If you need any proof, check out Sasha Grey in “The Girlfriend Experience” or Jennifer Lopez in “Out of Sight”. I know the man says he wants to retire soon, but before he does; can he please teach the new wave of directors how to tell a good story. I’m afraid that once his final bow is made, the art of story telling will continue a downward spiral. If another person handled this movie, I feel as though it would have come off as tacky and disconnected; which is another piece of credence to Soderbergh’s talent.
“Side Effects” may not be great by any means, but it sure is a fun one.
8 out of 10
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