“Side Effects”, indeed

Side Effects: Director Steven Soderburgh, Writer/Screenplay Scott Z. Burns

A short review by Russ Imrie February 14, 2013

A drama of twists upon twists. No, it’s not a hit piece on big pharma. Well, sort of—but it leaves no one out of the dirt. From deeply disturbed Emily (Mara) to sensitive psychologist Dr. Banks (Law), treating Emily with a cocktail of psychoactive prescription drugs pushed by a craven drug industry.

The sex (not graphic) steams and takes an unexpected turn. The entire cast make a complex story very, even uncomfortably, real. Character development succeeds in swaying our feelings for the personalities of each as they fluidly shift from good, to evil, and back again. A neat trick most films channel into a linear mode. Not here. Like life, it could end at any time and the story to that point could almost stand on its own—then it kicks in and shifts happen.

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Our senses felt massaged by skillfull hands, pain, bliss, intrigue, the deepest appetites are gratefully and skillfully savored and stimulated.

 

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