Emily Taylor, despite being reunited with her husband from prison, becomes severely depressed with emotional episodes and suicide attempts. Her psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks, after conferring with her previous doctor, eventually prescribes an experimental new medication called Ablixa. The plot thickens when the side effects of the drug lead to Emily killing her husband in a "sleepwalking" state. With Emily plea-bargained into mental hospital confinement and Dr. Banks' practice crumbling around him, the case seems closed. However, Dr. Banks cannot accept full responsibility and investigates to clear his name. What follows is a dark quest that threatens to tear what's left of his life apart even as he discovers the diabolical truth of this tragedy. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I read an article that said that, with Side Effects, Steven Soderbergh wanted to return to the old suspense classics like Jagged Edge and much of Hitchcock, psychological twisters that aren't made much anymore.
I suspect that's because today people expect vampires, car chases or buckets of blood to justify the price of a ticket. Well, I too remember those old classics and I loved them. Side Effects is a worthy addition but be warned that it's a thinking person's movie not a chainsaw caper.
I'm surprised that so many people mention the twists and turns. Yes, there are some but not that many and they're what makes it all so fascinating. You think you know what's happening -- but you don't! What I especially enjoyed was the gamesmanship the different characters displayed. It's like a chess match with three people and more to kibitz.
And yet as we travel through the story, the surprising bits do make sense and we wonder why we didn't think of those things before. We're deep into the heart of mental illness and psychopathology. Almost every character has secrets or hidden motives they would not like to see the light of day. Although the main character seems at first to be the troubled young wife, it becomes clear that it is Jude Law's character as the shrink who is struggling to find the truth and do the right thing.
Just when you think everything that can go wrong for him has, the tide begins to turn and it's Oh My Gosh. Just like a Hitchcock film, you have a guy to root for and wonder how he will ever work his way though. I expected a different -- more startling -- ending, but there is the promise (perhaps?) of more horror to come.
Yes, let's definitely have a sequel! Okay, Stephen?
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