Side Effects, with Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones & Channing Tatum. Steven Soderbergh, director. Not giving too much credence to the received word of mouth that this was a “good thriller” of some quality, but desperate to see anything that might be interesting; I found something incredibly cunning. When Soderbergh’s name popped up on the screen – that was the assurance that was needed. Law & Zeta-Jones just wasn’t enough for me. Yup, a hard sell am I.
Law was vivid as a psychiatrist, who finds himself involved with a lady (Mara) who is struggling with depression. Firstly, prescribing a drug, as these people are wont to do for every little thing, then finding himself embroiled in scandal as the chemical had unintended consequences. Namely; murder.
The cinematography was crisp & to the point; with New York City as a backdrop to what seemed to be a mystery, yet wasn’t. All this was helped by a fantastic script & story.
Mara is someone I’m just seeing initially, in this film. A personal discovery, well met. I can imagine casting finding someone capable of deadpan delivery, perfect for a character with crazy issues. We’ll hope to see this one again, as she is at once sexy & then dull. An interchangeable ability that I rarely see, but is celebrated by everyone once it’s found. Perhaps it’s overlooked if there are other, more important aspects to a film. Anyway, I think she’s a terrific actress, upon seeing this one performance.
Zeta-Jones is an amazing chameleon. I last encountered her in Broken City, but found her eclipsed in that film (I didn’t even mention her character). Her substantial role in this was a breath of fresh air, stunning in appearance, as well as talent. The currently under-rated, but in demand actress is one of my all time favorites.
Tatum’s character was definitely a minor role, but to be in the company of these fine people had to have been a boost, to a career that needs some definite, sophisticated dramatic appeal, at top drawer level. Not street level. Though hardly a blockbuster, the film would fit nicely on anyone’s resume’.
The recommendation that I give this film is heartily given. The film is not to be missed. Because I found no obvious flaw, was entertained & fascinated at twists that were possibly predictable, but surprising; nevertheless.