Monday, December 2, 2013

Side Effects (2013): Review

This scene shot on NYC's high line.
   Does anyone think Jude Law wanted to be some sort of doctor in a former life?  Or, at least in the pharmaceutical industry?  I say that because of his role in Contagion, he wasn't a doctor but he was a pill pusher in that one.  Anyway, I remember seeing the trailer for this and not really getting what it was about, plus it has Channing Tatum in it which is automatic "not for me", but I added this to my +Netflix queue because it was a thriller...and he get killed in it, or the character he plays dies so it's funny to me (my girlfriend likes him . So, there!).

The premise of the movie is, why he gets killed.   Tatum plays Martin Taylor who we see released from prison at the beginning of this movie.  His wife, Emily Taylor played by Rooney Mara is dealing with depression over his recent stint in prison for insider trading and having to rebuild their lives upon his release has taken it's toll on her.  So much that she attempts suicide in her car in a brief, "moment of weakness" that she claims to the ER doctor that treats her, Dr. Jonathan Banks played by Jude Law.  Dr. Banks seems to be an honest to goodness "good guy" doctor in psychology and generally seems to care about his patients, a little too much as you come to find out later in the film.  He gets word of a new anti-depression drug from a colleague who treated Emily in the past Dr. Victoria Siebert played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.  Dr. Banks prescribes the drug willy nilly to Emily after her suicide attempt and she seems to have some of the side effects affecting her while she uses it (nice use of the title don't you think?) which include sleep walking at the worst level.  In one of her spells she seems to just decide to stab her husband out of the blue, and kills him.  from that point the film turns into a chess match of figuring pout who's crazy, who's faking crazy, and who's smarter than whom?

I know I gave away the intro but nothing is spoiled for you here, not too much anyway.  Most of the screen time is occupied by Rooney Mara and Jude Law and they play their roles really well.  I have to say I got so used to Mara playing such odd roles like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Prometheus I did not recognize her in this.  It's rated R for some nudity and violence but it's worth watching if you need something to watch that isn't all big budget special effects.