“Side Effects,” the new thriller by Steven Soderbergh, has some really cool twists that remind you of classic Hitchcock. It’s more than just a medical drama.
Jude Law plays Dr. Jonathan Banks, a psychiatrist whose career goes south after he puts one of his patients on an experimental drug. Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) suffers severe depression, even after the release of her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), following a four-year prison sentence for insider trading. Taylor tried a series of SSRI antidepressants, but nothing seemed to work until she got on Ablixa. The only major side effect she suffered was sleep-walking. That changes.
“Side Effects” enjoys a split personality. It begins as a cautionary tale about the over-marketing of antidepressants. Tom Cruise would be proud. But, then you realize not everything is as it seems. Soderbergh, with the help of some excellent writing by Scott Z. Burns and an outstanding cast, take you to Hitchcock territory. It’s like you know the characters and then suddenly you don’t know them at all. What’s happening? Who is the protagonist? Who is the villain? Where in the heck are we going? I truly love this kind of story. I think you will, too. Grade: A-