Steven Soderbergh’s career is ending on a high note… if he truly is done making movies that is. I hope not, the man is one of my all time favorite directors, and his latest film Side Effects does not disappoint.
Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) has been living a life of luxury with her husband Martin (Channing Tatum), until Martin lands himself a four year prison sentence for insider trading. Upon his release Emily begins battling depression and rams her car at full speed into a brick wall. In the emergency room she meets therapist Jonathon Banks (Jude Law), who allows her to leave the emergency room without a psyche hold for her suicide attempt when she promises to see him for regular sessions. Dr. Banks prescribes her a few different medications until finally Ablixa (a fictional anti-depressant) lightens her mood and makes her act the part of a happy and content wife to Martin. The problem is, Ablixa has side effects…she sleepwalks and doesn’t remember what she does during the episodes. Along the way we are introduced to Emily’s former therapist Dr. Erica Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who also tried different medications for Emily’s depression with various side effects.
Side Effects starts out slow while the audience is becoming acquainted with the characters and their lives, but about a half hour in the plot thickens and Side Effects becomes a thrilling master piece of intriguing twists and turns that the audience does not see coming. Every character is crucial to the story and every actor gives an amazing performance. Rooney Mara superbly makes the audience care about what happens to her, and you feel her pain as her life is unraveling. Jude Law, who hasn’t had a fantastic role in a while, portrays a caring therapist who genuinely wants to help his patient, and as his life takes a turn for the worse the audience will feel as frustrated as he does, while rooting for him to solve the mystery.
Steven Soderbergh has a distinct and memorable style to all of his films, from Oceans 11 to Magic Mike he is an exceptional film maker. I hope this is not Steven Soderbergh’s swan song, but if it is, he definitely is going out with a bang.
I highly recommended seeing Side Effects opening weekend.
In theatres February 8th
1 hour, 43 minutes