Movie Review

Side Effects – Movie Review

SideEffects Movie

This is Steven Sodebergh’s last ever movie. He’s giving up the day job and going off to become an artist. Seriously! I guess it’s some type of mid-life crisis, and hopefully his old boss will have him back when he comes to his sense. He has a mortgage to pay after all, and kids to feed!

After a bit of wandering on the internet, this is the only image I could find of his art. It’s meant to be George Clooney, don’t ya know. Hmm… That’s an awfully big brush he’s holding.

steven-soderbergh aritst - painting of Geroge Clooney

Side Effects is a fast-moving thriller that keeps you wondering who will come out on top. The plot involves a lot of twists, none of which I’m going to reveal here (a spoiler free review!). The main premise is that Jude Law plays a psychiatrist treating a young woman (Rooney Mara) for severe depression, and prescribes her various drugs while trying to find her the right meds, and dealing with their various side effects, some of which are bigger than others!

The movie plays with ideas such as the role of the doctor and their patient, and who is in control of their treatment. It reminded me of several of John Dahl’s early movies, such as Red Rock West and The Last Seduction, but in truth is not as good as either of these movies. Side Effects draws in many of the elements of film noir, with the Femme Fatale and the big pay off, which is always just out of reach.

It stars Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones, with the two minor names of Mara and Tatum being the two most likeable. Jude Law is the main protagonist and is better than I’ve seen him on-screen in a while. Zeta-Jones plays another psychiatrist, and only comes into the movie about half way through, and is relatively minor to the plot. It is an enjoyable enough movie that will keep you guessing until the end, and well acted throughout.

If it is to be Steven’s last ever movie, we tip our hat and remember the good times.I think The Limey, Sex, Lies and Videotape and Erin Brockovich were his best. Anyone care to suggest their favourite?

Categories: Movie Review, Movies

3 replies »

  1. Although some of its twists and character relationships could be developed more clearly, the movie still comes through as a surprisingly engrossing thriller with fantastic turns from the whole cast. Nice review.

    • There was some very good ideas in there, especially about the doctor/ patient relationship.

      It didn’t quite come off though, think it just missed the boat for whatever reason. The Catherine Zeta character was very one dimensional, and even the Rooney Mara character acted without much reason. Still, it was enjoyable enough.

      Thanks for the comment…

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