Side Effects

 Written by Dorrin Gingerich

Despite Martin Taylor's (Channing Tatum) return from prison, his wife Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) has fallen in a severe depression. After a couple suicide attempts, her therapist Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) prescribes a experimental new drug for her called Ablixa. Unfortunately Ablixa has some side effects that turn out to be deadly.

What Worked - Side Effects director, Steven Soderbergh, has yet again presented us with another riveting psychological thriller that has many Hitchcockian undertones. The film felt as if it's presented in two parts. The first part primarily focuses on Emily's character, but after the first of many big twists, it eventually shifts over to Dr. Jonathan Banks. Both Rooney Mara and Jude Law give admirable performances. Rooney Mara once again shows us she can play in yet another dark role. But Jude Law's character proves to be the more fascinating of the two, as he makes the most dramatic character arc from dry, collected, and professional to frantic, manipulative and desperate. The script and editing is so expertly crafted together that the audience never quite knows what to expect.

What Didn't Work - Well, like most R-rated movies, it has its fair share of completely unnecessary things such as a sex scene, nudity, foul language, and a host of other things I found to be really distasteful. I really don't understand why directors feel the need to put that kind of stuff in a movie like this. It doesn't mean your movies are more respectable or real to life. It just means your paying audience shrinks significantly due to the R rating.

Rooney Mara is Sad Again - I felt Rooney Mara's performance was quite good. But I've just noticed she's gotten into a niche of playing darker roles. For instance, she gets dumped in The Social Network, in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo she gets raped and in Side Effects she plays a severely depressed woman. Now Rooney Mara, I don't know if your agent is making you take these sad roles, but it's okay to branch out and play happier characters. I'm not saying you have to do a romantic comedy or anything. I would just like to see you be happy for once.

Overall - Side Effects is an extremely intelligent and engaging psychological thriller that is sure to leave you glued to your seats. I was going to give this movie a very high rating but due to all the unnecessary R-rated stuff I can't. I say it's a good rental.

A quote from the movie -
Dr. Jonathan Banks - Depression is the inability to construct a future.


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