Anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, meds for hyperactivity, etc. . . . Big Pharma is quite a topic these days. Whether it is because of the over prescribing of medication in America or the unending profits these companies make. Some take meds for long term symptoms or just occasionally to “take the edge off” before a presentation or interview. You either take some meds yourself or know someone who does.
Side Effects is a smart thriller directed by the great Steven Soderbergh. It touches on the entire scope of how this culture of pill pushing affects all aspects of life and business in America. Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum star as a young married couple, Emily and Martin, who were on top of the world when Martin gets prosecuted for insider trading and goes away to prison for four years. The movie starts as he returns home to begin again with his wife, only to find her overwhelmed with depression. Seeking treatment for her condition, she begins to see Dr. Jonathan Banks, played by Jude Law, who begins her on a medication. The shocking side effects of the meds tears everyone’s life apart.
Mara’s portrayal of a young woman helplessly overwhelmed by depression and her sincere desire to conquer it and live her life is quite convincing. She plays fragile well, and you really feel for her situation. Law’s performance is the best in the film. He becomes quite the strong character as the story continues to unfold. Catherine Zeta-Jones reunites with Soderbergh in this film as Emily’s former doctor who consults with Law on how Emily has been troubled for years.
I really enjoyed Side Effects. I thought the plot was clever and the twists unexpected. I went in knowing nothing about it and came out pleasantly surprised that I had sincerely enjoyed it. The entire cast gives great performances.
I give Side Effects 4 “pills” out of 5.
by Reanna Streater