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Side Effects

Posted by admin on February 12, 2013


I can understand the fear of taking drugs to fix something. I’ve never been confortable with taking medication because of the fact that I know my body will run under the direction of a pill. You have no way of fighting back because your system only understands to adapt. Sure we may feel better about what’s bothering us like when we take Nyquil to subdue cold effects. But when the cold disappears, the feeling of drowsiness comes about. It’s a weird feeling to fall asleep fast because I’m a light sleeper. When my eyes shut, all I think about is that my body is being forced by this drug to sleep.

I’m surprised with how much we as a society are willing to use heavy medications to stop the pain. I know medical science has worked hard to create these pills or powder, but I still don’t see why they can’t find a better way to direct these efforts towards the pain and not the whole body. There are plenty of ads on television that state the possible problems that come with the so-called miracle. If a side effect of an antidepressant was headaches and nausea, doesn’t this just encourage the mood swings to return? I love the ideas about drug companies that Side Effects is trying to get around while presenting a Hitchcock-like thriller.

The movie with Emily Taylor (played by Rooney Mara), a young woman, whose been waiting for the release of her husband for four years. After serving a sentence for insider trading, Martin (played by Channing Tatum) returns to his wife with a full hug, ready to regain his wealth. But unknown to him is that Emily’s depression has been hitting her hard. She suffers a bad concussion after crashing her car in an attempt to kill herself. Assigned to help her is psychiatrist Jonathan Banks (played by Jude Law).

Jonathan tries prescribing her many antidepressants that seem to take no effect. He pays a visit to her old psychiatrist Victoria (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones). She recommends that Emily start taking a new hot drug in the experimental phase called Ablixa. Emily’s life seems to be back on track until she starts suffering bouts of sleepwalking. It all falls apart when another round of her sleepwalking gets Martin killed. Upon a trial, they declare her not guilty under reason of insanity. Jonathon’s receives a lot of bad press and his life starts falling apart. Not believing he did anything wrong, he begins investigating. As he notices other inside trading with the Ablixa market and possible conspiracies by Victoria, Jonathan may have uncovered a bigger story about the people he’s worked with.

Side Effects only kept getting better as more was unraveled. Like a tribute to the classic Hitchcock thriller, this part medical thriller, part detective mystery starts in one place and ends in another. I will not dare spoil it, but this movie has clearly been put in the good hand with director Steven Soderbergh.

What I love about his movies is that he always casts them well. Side Effects found a way to put every actor into the perfect position. Jude Law is just great as a doctor who was only doing what he thought was best for his clients. He’s not just trapped into this conspiracy, but forced into becoming a sleuth for the sake of his life. Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum make a nice couple (though the movie heads into a strange direction that ended up working for Mara’s character). Also like a good Hitchcock thriller, Mara’s character is in a constant state of changing sides, making the audience hold on to their seats to see whether she was right or that her doctor may have uncover something else.


I’ll give this five boxes of Ablixa out of five. Side Effects may include headache inducing stories, a frightening atmosphere and a possible encouragement of your own medical decisions. 


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