Saturday, February 9, 2013

Side Effects

Plot: Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) is depressed and Dr Jonathan Banks (Jude Law)  prescribed a new anti-depressant -- whose side effect is sleepwalking. One night Emily is sleepwalking and she stabs her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) to death in her sleep.  It looks like Emily will plead insanity but then the plot starts to twist and twist again. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Side Effects hinges on the photography and acting from Rooney Mara. It isn't what she says as much as the way she holds herself -- reacting to the action. Jude Law is just as good especially later in the film as the tension turns up on his character Dr. Banks. 

You might think that Soderbergh is making a film about over-medication or the prescription culture -- but actually not. It is an suspenseful psychological thriller -- very smart writing with clever plot twists. 

The music by Thomas Newman was always interesting and appropriate. I liked the interesting interior photography and actually the set decoration. Several of the paintings were interesting. 

I liked the ending, because once we figure out what is happening, the evil doers pay. 

Cast: Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Rating: 4.0 stars: a well-crafted film with a clever story and great acting; Why not 4 stars? 
More: I hate to give a movie 4 stars too early in the year, but it is as good as a lot of last year's favorites like End of Watch, but not as good as LIncoln or Cloud Atlas. Better than The Impossible, The Avengers, and Perks of Being a Wallflower. It does not have a message though.

Even More: By the end of the movie, we see that one of the characters is purely evil: fully disassociated from humanity kind of evil. Way past super villain evil into shoot up a room full of 1st graders kind of evil.