Monday, February 18, 2013

Side Effects

      The new thriller from director Steven Soderbergh has a great cast and a very clever plot that I can't discuss without spoilers. While it may take some liberties with drugs and the pharmaceutical companies that make them, the script really takes off in unexpected ways and a film that starts slow ends with quite the payoff.

         Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum are a young married couple with issues. He's been in jail for 4 years on inside trading charges and she suffers from depression. Jude Law plays a psychiatrist who ends up treating Ms. Rooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones plays Ms. Rooney's former doctor. These are the things that are apparent. Everything else is quite fun for the audience as the film follows a very unexpected road.

         Ms. Rooney and Mr. Law are terrific in their respective roles. Mr. Tatum is a bit more restrained than usual (probably due to Mr. Soderbergh's excellent direction) and it's good to see Ms. Zeta-Jones in a clever part. The pace of the film starts slow and never really takes off but rather unfolds at it's own deliberate speed, slowly revealing layers like a good thriller should.

         The first third of the film wasn't really impressing me but by the time it ended, it had completely won me over. It's much more clever than you might suspect and a welcome relief during the traditional winter movie blues.

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