Side Effects  (2013)    74/100

Rating :   74/100                                                                     106 Min        15

Rooney Mara stars as Emily Taylor, a sufferer of depression after husband Martin, played by Channing Tatum, is sent to jail for insider trading. The film opens with his release and we see Emily dealing with the consequences of the whole ordeal, and also the possible side effects of the anti-depressant drugs she has been prescribed with as increasingly erratic behaviour develops. Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones play her current and former psychiatrists respectively, and we are treated to a developing mystery and an insight into the pharmaceutical industry. Compelling, well paced and well acted, ‘Side Effects’ is a pleasure to watch.

Sadly it is set to be the last film from director Steven Soderbergh (‘Traffic’, ‘Oceans 11-13’, ‘Haywire’) as he has stated he has had enough of studio interference with his work and is switching to television instead. Given most of his films remain very good, it would be interesting to see what they may have been like without this suggested creative meddling. Far from the first director to bemoan the power of producers, surely he has had enough success and made enough high profile friends, George Clooney for example, that he could afford to finance a film or two of his own, even if they were smaller scale ones? Woody Allen famously was so irate at the direction the producers took with his first movie that he vowed to never again work on anything where he didn’t have complete creative control, and he has since enjoyed decades of critical and commercial success doing just that. Come on Soderbergh, don’t give in just yet…..

See the TED talk below and the following link for some topical, and very important, insights on the potential dangers of prescription drugs.

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