Side Effects (15)
Director: Steven Soderbergh.
Starring: Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta Jones and Channing Tatum.
Running time: 1hr 46mins.
IT WOULD appear that Hollywood has rediscovered the thriller as a viable notion for film-making.
And with Side Effects it has found a winner that with a plot that served the industry very well up until the 80s, when it was last popular.
The story goes that a young woman, Emily (Mara), suffering from depression, visits psychiatrist Dr Banks (Law) who tries to treat her.
But after a couple of suicide attempts — and because he’s being paid to try out an experimental, new drug — he signs her up for a new treatment.
All seems to be going well and the patient is happy, and her husband (Tatum) is happy as the couple continue having an active sex life.
The drug has tragic side effects, however, as the patients stabs her husband to death.
At the trial it is discovered that Emily has no recollection of the events leading up to her husband’s death.
Prosecution and defence conclude that it was the medication to blame for her actions and she is found not guilty, but she is forced to stay for an unfixed period in an asylum for observations.
The repercussions for her doctor are severe and he loses his practice because of the negative publicity surrounding the case.
But questions of Emily’s guilt or innocence begin to surface in Dr Banks’ mind and he begins to dig deeper into the case.
However, his doubts receive short shrift with the prosecution because of the double jeopardy law and his feelings are dismissed.
But, with his career on the line, the doctor is tenacious in his quest to clear his name at all costs.
Side Effects his a good, solid thriller of the type that we’ve not seen for a long time.
But with this, Arbitrage and Broken City all out doing the circuits and being well received, I do hope this is not the last we’ll see of this genre.