Side Effects

Every time a new medication advertisement comes on the television, the promises of happiness and recovery are quickly followed by a long list of repercussions and “side effects”. The psychological thriller, Side Effects is basically a worst-case scenario of what would happen if all those cautionary warnings were to manifest in a single patient. Although the film is a psychological thriller, it delivers much more upon the “psycho” than legitimate thrills; the movie focuses on the complexity of its story and characterization – which is a very good thing.
The lead actors include, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jude Law who all deliver fantastic performances. In fact, Channing Tatum may have even redeemed himself from starring in his latest god-forsaken role in Magic Mike. Rooney Mara, taking on the role of a depression-riddled patient, is a clear standout. At so many opportunities the film might have strayed into irreverent and campy performances, but it stayed consistent to the maturity and professionalism of the script.
The cinematography is phenomenal: the mood of the film is as dreary and depressing as a day-trip to Fort Erie (and that`s really saying something). In fact, the movie quickly takes a turn to the macabre, dealing with surprising and unexpected subject matters. Despite the complexity of the narrative, the movie actually draws upon relevant real-World concerns in regards to the roles of large pharmaceutical companies in North America. How much power companies have, as well as the inequality between their morality and business model is one of the core issues discussed in the film.
Whether you`re worried about the people behind Pepto Bismal taking over the world or not, Side Effects is a poignant and well-made movie. Even if you don’t fully understand the film, its subject material and tone is still interesting enough for any audience. Refreshingly however, Side Effects is a respectable movie that never apologizes for its maturity and intelligence.
When the movie is at its worst, it’s similar to an R-rated version of Scooby Doo, but at its best, Side Effects will have you trying your best to decode its complex twists and turns. If you fully understand the film the first time you see it, you probably need some medication of your own – the movie never loses its ability to shock and confuse.

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