Movie Review: Side Effects

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This review also appears on Movie Blogbuster.

Anything by Steven Soderbergh is a treat for me, and this movie did not disappoint. It’s one of those great movies that somehow end up flying under the mainstream radar.

Side Effects is about a clinically depressed woman, Emily (Rooney Mara), who is started on new medication prescribed to her by her therapist, Jonathan (Jude Law). After an incident, it’s discovered that the medication has a sleepwalking side effect. One day, her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) comes home and she kills him while sleep-cooking (bizarre, I know). When she wakes up, she discovers his body- she’s not aware that this was her doing just yet- and remembers nothing of the incident. As a result of the inquisition, Jonathan’s career goes downhill, while Emily goes to a psych ward for treatment.

The story gets really interesting from there as Jonathan works on uncovering the many layers of Emily to understand how this could have happened, in a desperate attempt to absolve himself of any wrongdoing.

Rooney Mara and Jude Law are absolutely superb in Side Effects, and Catherine Zeta Jones’ makes an impact in her small yet very significant role in the plot. There are a few unexpected twists and turns in the story, and it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen a film this good. But then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Soderbergh.

Many girls would probably go see this flick for Channing Tatum, in which case they’re going to be disappointed because his role is actually pretty small. But if you’re into suspense and mystery, you will thoroughly enjoy this film.

Rating: While you might not be able to catch it in theatres now, it’s worth getting on DVD or catching it on VOD. I give it 5 Oi’s out of 5.

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