Emily (Rooney Mara “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and Martin (Channing Tatum “The Vow”) are a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law “Sherlock Holmes”) intended to treat anxiety, has unexpected and dangerous side effects. From director Steven Soderbergh (“Contagion”, “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Ocean’s Twelve”, “Ocean’s Thirteen”) comes a riveting psychological thriller where neither the symptoms nor the cure are quite as straightforward as they seem.
2013 – Certificate: 15 – American Film
Rating Details: Strong language, sex and violence
7.0 out of 10
Despite its capacity to bring good news, joy and happiness, the word “no” generally feels pretty negative. So hearing a dentist mutter it twice whilst prodding and poking around in your mouth is not something that often generates a smile. (Then again, when you’ve got a mouthful of torture devices masquerading as dental equipment, there isn’t actually an especially wide range of facial expressions at your disposal.) My third 90 minute appointment this month bought me these two highlights, along with a comment at the end that she’d managed to get a few a millimetres further but the blockage was still there. An hour and a half for that? It’s not the London Crosslink rail tunnel; although all the talk of drilling, canals, bridges and crowns does put me in mind of a major, civil engineering project. The only thing that kept me going we the fact that this was the last part of my own, personal, dental horror trilogy, (which itself was an expansion of the two-parter that had originally been planned). Unfortunately, the news at the end was not good. A fourth instalment is now required and ‘filming’ takes place in April, once the spin-off “The Dentist: Sore Wisdom Tooth” has wrapped. I still haven’t got the date for my trip to hospital to have the latter dealt with, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the most massively inconvenient one possible.
In the UK, you go to see your doctor and sometimes he or she gives you a prescription for some drugs. You go to the chemist and he or she gives them to you. You take them and hopefully feel better. The end. I don’t know anyone who has any sort of discussion about what brand of drug they want. I guess it happens sometimes, but not very often. They don’t get advertised on TV and I’d hazard a guess and say most people have no idea what make of drugs they’re taking or even if it stays the same between prescriptions. Not so in America, where drug companies widely advertise their products and patents frequently tell their doctors what brand of drugs they want, presumably based on which has the best advertising on TV. A movie like “Side Effects” simply wouldn’t make sense if it was set in the UK. This film has more twists that you get in a big bag of that twisty-shaped pasta that’s always cheaper than any other shape of pasta. (And why does the shape make such as huge difference to the price? It’s feels like you’re charged a premium if it’s an easier shape to get onto a fork.) It’s not a bad movie, as long as you concentrate, give its plot a bit of latitude and forgive its sometime dubious portrayal of same-sex relationships and mental health. Jude Law and Rooney Mara are both great. I guess if I wasn’t wracked with tooth inflicted agony and befuddled by antibiotics and pain-killing drugs (and no I’ve no idea what brand they are), I’d have got more out of it.
There’s a lot of music in this film. None of it is especially memorable, but it’s there, in the background, most of the time. A bit like weather.
Trailers for thrillers are often quite frustrating. They want to encourage you to see the film, yet don’t want to give away the plot. I guess it’s a bit like reading a book without looking at the words. This is a good example.
Recommended for psychiatrists, lesbians, inside traders, drug pushers and conspiracy theorists.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? You have to give Jude Law a bit of respect. When the going gets tough he digs in and keeps going. Bloody mindedness is always badass; and bloody annoying to everyone else too.
Side Effects at IMDB (7.1 / 10)
Side Effects at Wikipedia
Side Effects at Roger Ebert (3.5 / 5)
Side Effects trailer at YouTube