‘Side Effects’ is a must-see thriller


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Side Effects” is a complex psychological thriller with a murder plot that unsuspectingly entangles an innocent psychiatrist into a world of lies and deceit.

The film follows the life of Emily (Rooney Mara), whose relationship with her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), is turned upside down when she begins taking a new drug prescribed by her psychiatrist (Jude Law).

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this medical murder mystery thriller cleverly guides the audience through twists and turns, leaving the reader guessing until the very end. Martin is a husband recently released from prison for insider trading trying to reestablish the same relationship he had with Emily before he was arrested. Emily appears unable to control her own life, with depression and anxiety threatening her safety and the safety of those around her.

The solution to her problems: a new, untested drug prescribed by a stressed and overworked psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Banks. The drug – a pill meant to treat depression/anxiety – begins having unexpected consequences. One night, Emily inexplicably kills her husband with a kitchen knife while sleepwalking, an apparent side effect of the drug.

As the movie progresses, the character development becomes surprisingly complex and multi-layered as the audience learns more about the inner working of the minds of both Dr. Banks and Emily. Jude Law does a fantastic job playing Dr. Banks, a man distraught over the side effects that the prescribed drug has had on his patient, Emily, and on his professional credibility. In the end, Dr. Banks becomes a distraught, determined man desperate to right his name by solving the complex scheme he has fallen victim to.

 is one of the better dramas I have seen recently. Overall, the film rates four-and-a-half stars out of five.