Side Effects — film review

An all-star cast appear in director Steven Soderbergh’s latest and last film, psychological thriller Side Effects.

The film follows Emily Taylor (played by Rooney Mara) who is apparently suffering from depression following her husband Martin’s (Channing Tatum) release from prison after four years.

In order to help with her depression Emily enlists the help of shrink Dr Jonathan Banks (Jude Law). Dr Banks consults her previous therapist (played by Catherine Zeta Jones) and prescribes her with an anti-depressant called Ablixa. As a side effect from the medication Emily begins sleepwalking and wakes up with no recollection of this sleepwalking.

During an episode of sleepwalking Emily commits an unthinkable crime, pleads insanity and is committed to a mental hospital. Dr Banks begins to investigate the circumstances in which this crime was committed and what involvement, if any, did the Ablixa tablets have.

Steven Soderbergh’s latest film starts out as a promising thriller and draws the audience in with a mysterious, enthralling plot however as the plot thickens the story loses its hook as it becomes unclear.

Rooney Mara gives a convincing performance as depressed protagonist Emily and her co-stars all shine in their individual parts, especially Catherine Zeta Jones who brilliantly portrays the part of the creepy psychiatrist with something to hide.

The last twenty minutes of the film are nothing short of a confusing, chaotic series of random events, from a surprising relationship to a perplexing arrest. The ending of the film seems abrupt and the mystery isn’t solved in a clear cut way but rather left viewers asking what just happened.

Side Effects is gripping to a point, but an abrupt, confusing ending ultimately leads it to being classified as just another mediocre thriller and mainly disappointing. However, a great cast and an unpredictable murder still makes this film worth a watch – it’s good, not great.

Side Effects is showing in cinemas now

Side Effects trailer


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