Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PCP on DVD - Side Effects

So, continuing with the Channing Tatum theme for this week’s reviews, here is my review of Side Effects, supposedly the last film Steven Soderbergh is planning to make any time soon.

Side Effects – 2013, rated R.  My rating: 8 out of 10.

Side Effects marks the third pairing of director Steven Soderbergh and actor Channing Tatum. Unlike their pairing Magic Mike which is a lead role for Tatum, here his role is more like in their other collaboration, Haywire, a smaller role within the film. Haywire is really more Jude Law and Rooney Mara’s film. This is also Soderbergh’s third pairing with Catherine Zeta-Jones, his others being Traffic and Ocean’s 12.

Rooney Mara plays Emily, wife of Channing Tatum’s recently paroled Martin, who has just gotten out of jail after committing insider trading. Emily is feeling depression and attempts to kill herself, resulting in her being placed in the psychiatric care of Jude Law’s Dr. Banks. Banks prescribes various anti-depressants to no effect in Emily, so on advice of her former doctor, Dr. Siebert (Zeta-Jones), he puts her on a new antidepressant that has a side effect of sleepwalking.

While sleepwalking, Emily gets herself into trouble, trouble severe enough to have disastrous consequences for her and Martin, and on Dr. Banks’ career.  I’d say more but the plot gets rather twisty and conspiratorial at this point and I don’t want to give away the ending, except to say that I enjoyed this film very much. All of the actors turned in great performances, and the film flows well through the twists and turns of the plot. Also, unlike many movies, this one actually got a lot of the mental health and psychiatry stuff correct, something my wife says is very rare in film. She's a mental health professional, so she would know.  Overall, I definitely recommend this film, it makes for a pretty good thriller.

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