Side Effects – Film Review

When I first saw the trailer for the new psychological film Side Effects I was sold when it said staring Jude Law and Channing Tatum. At first I thought it was going to focus on a love triangle, with a thriller twist. But this film has a lot more to it than the trailer gives away.

Rooney Mara, star of The Girl and The Dragon Tattoo, takes the leading role as Emily Taylor, suffering from depression – Tatum’s wife and Law’s patient. The film shows how a successful New York couple’s life changes from money and drinks to prison and antidepressants.

The film doesn’t waste any time in making you ask questions, with the first few minutes showing a trail of blood inside an apartment. If I was back in my A level film studies class I would now want to comment on the contrast between the opening and closing scenes of buildings and the powerful use of shots throughout – but I don’t want to write a technical essay!

This definitely isn’t a sit back and relax, easy-watching film. Concentration is needed and you will be trying to guess all the way through what’s going to happen next. Whilst it does have many twists, especially towards the end when all the secrets are unraveled, we had guessed the majority of what was going to happen at the half way point.

When Catherine Zeta Jones’ name appeared at the beginning I assumed she’d have a supporting role, but the moment her character, Dr. Siebert, enters there is something mysterious about her. As the film unfolds it becomes clear that she plays a bigger part in Emily’s life than initially thought.

What at first seems like a focus on issues in the medical world turns into a thriller surrounded by lies, lust and deceit. It’s hard to give a negative view on the this film, the only thing is be prepared to focus in the second half as all the secrets are unveiled and  one moment the film will look like it’s going in one direction and before you know it it’s going somewhere else. Overall a worthwhile film going to see with a strong cast and unique storyline.

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