February 21, 2013
Filed under Arts and Leisure
“Side Effects” is supposedly the last film that director Steven Soderbergh will make before his retirement. Since his debut in 1989, he has made 25 feature films and has been one of the most versatile filmmakers in Hollywood, often serving as the cinematographer and editor on his films. If “Side Effects” is really his last film, then it is a solid film to go out on. While a tad uneven at times, “Side Effects” remains a creepy, effective thriller for the most part.
The plot follows Emily Taylor (played by Rooney Mara) as her husband (played by Channing Tatum) is released from a four-year prison sentence for insider trading. Emily begins to suffer from intense depression and appears to attempt suicide by crashing her car into a concrete wall. She begins seeing a psychiatrist (played by Jude Law) who eventually prescribes an experimental drug to help her. The movie turns into a winding thriller with several plot twists that are simply indescribable.
The cast is excellent throughout, as Rooney Mara continues to become one of the best young actresses in Hollywood. Channing Tatum continues to cement himself as a legitimate actor although his screen time is limited, Jude Law also does a good job and Catherine Zeta-Jones is good as a creepy psychiatrist.
Many critics have described “Side Effects” as a thriller in the vein of Hitchcock as it builds up feelings of tension, unease and paranoia before resolving itself. Another way it resembles Hitchcock is the way it revels in fooling the audience and playing against the audience’s expectations for the characters.
Steven Soderbergh has made a name for himself by taking genre features and turning them on their heads and he does the same with “Side Effects.” Overall, Soderbergh’s last film is a solid addition to his filmography and one of the few good releases so far this year.