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Sunday, August 2, 2015

‘Side Effects’ a whirlwind of emotions

By Jordan White and Times Staff Writer

Following the release of her husband from prison, “Side Effects” unravels the emotional depression that Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara), finds herself in. After a sudden suicide attempt, Taylor is taken to a psychiatrist by her husband Martin (Channing Tatum), and prescribed pills that only seem to make the situation worse.

The on-par acting in the film is suitable for the cohesiveness of the character roles. Tatum and Mara, as a married couple, seemed to work together well as Tatum exemplified the skills of being a loving and caring husband to his wife who has endured the past four years without her husband. Mara falls into the role that allows us to see her genuine love for her husband. This psychological thriller continues as Mara is returning to see her psychiatrist, Dr. Banks (Jude Law), multiple times, while he is conversing with her previous psychiatrist Dr. Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The four main actors all make the movie a psychological mystery that keeps the viewer guessing until the final few scenes.

The film quality, and direction by Steven Soderbergh, took a third person view of Taylor’s collapsing world and created a first person view. The shots that changed focus from clarity to blurs, which were used subsequent to Taylor taking her prescriptions, seemed to be Soderbergh’s way of making the moviegoer feel as if he or she was experiencing the same side effects as Taylor. The visuals and camera angles and plot were comparative with industry standards. Although the plot was unique, the overall directing and visuals were good, but not groundbreaking as in recent movies.

In regards to the plot, the psychological aspect is what made “Side Effects” unique and worth going to see.

Overall Letter Grade: B. The plot and actor choices would call for an A rating itself, however, the decent filmography does not seem to fit the plot standards.

Jordan can be reached at

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