Monday’s Movie Musings is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. The idea of this feature is to have all of my movie things occuring in one place. Whether it is a review, article, or something else, this feature will just be all about movies.
This week I have for you all a review of Side Effects
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Written By: Scott Z Burns
Production Company: Di Bonaventura Pictures
Main Cast: Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta Jones
Format: Cinema (OUT NOW)
Add It: IMDB
(From IMDB) A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.
Other than the trailer that I had seen on television that was short with just enough images to entice the audience, I had no conceptions of what this film was going to be about. I knew it was a drama, I knew there would be a crime that seemed to have occured as a side effect of the drugs someone was taking and that was it. Personally, I feel like that is all I needed to know, all anyone needs to know before they go and see this film. It is one of those ones that the less you know, the more intense and incredible the film is which is why I’m also nervous about this review and fairly certain that it’s going to be smaller than my other reviews because I simply want to describe how great this film was without ruining it for you if you do decide to go ahead and watch it.
The last Soderbergh/Burns film I went to see was Contagion (2011) and as that one was a large disappointment in my opinion, I was glad that I didn’t know that these two were the director and writer for this film until after I was already in the cinema as I probably would have decided not to waste my time otherwise. This film was a lot better than Contagion and so if you didn’t like that film, do not let that influence your decision to go and see this one. With a compelling, twisting, and highly mysterious plot, this film really grabs the audience and moves them towards the edges of their seats. I was fully involved in this film and simply wanted to know what would happen next and to know if my suspicions on what was actually happening were true or false. This film is the type of film that completely changes things up for the audience and puts them through loop after loop as they really try to understand what is happening before finally putting everything out there on the table by the end. It is cleverly achieved and is one the largest reason why I liked it so much.
The one thing that this film really had going for it was the amazing acting throughout the film. For me, I found that Jude Law was the actor that made this film; he carried it in his stride and made it to be a brilliant and powerful one. He played his character really well, made them truly believable and really made the audience feel for everything that was happening while, at the same time, also made them question him. Was he being truthful to us, to himself, to the other characters? It was quite a feat to achieve and really made the film that much better. Rooney Maya also helped to carry this film and make it greater as well. She played her part extremely well, causing the audience to be rooted into her story and to really feel everything that was happening. It was a tremendous role that could have caused the entire film to flop if it was played perfectly and I truly believe that Rooney did an absolutely incredible job of keeping it all together. Catherine Zeta Jones and Channing Tatum, on the other hand, weren’t absolutely great characters in my mind. I don’t know if it was just their characters I had problems with, if it was their acting skills, or if it was just that they both weren’t cast right in the film, but I definitely found them to be weaker against Law and Mara.
Another aspect of this film that was really well done was the cinematography and editing. These worked in perfect harmony throughout the film and always gave the audience just enough to lead them somewhere but never enough to show them the whole picture. They helped to bring the mysterious and curiousness to the film that helped to make it more compelling and tense and I just found myself appreciating all of the different cuts, angles, and choices that were made by the teams behind the scenes. The script was also incredibly good, with the dialogue being just enough to get a good enough picture. Everything in this film had its place and helped to make it exactly what it was. But it would be difficult to talk about these things too much without giving away too much so I’ll just leave you with the knowledge that all of the crew who helped to make this film what it was did a magnificent job.
The Side Effects
All in all, I was blown away by this film. It went to places that I never expected it to and truly pulled me in to the story. While the theory I came up throughout the film was the right one, I know that not everyone guesses it before the end – but I’m usually quite good at seeing the clues and peicing it all together. However, even though I was right, I still truly admired this film and everything that it tried to do. It is one that I would watch again just to pick out any more clues that were floating around and just to feel that same intensity – and to admire the acting skills of Law and Mara. This film was really great and I just really hope that you go and see it. However, I do also have a feeling that this won’t be for everyone but if you like films that are mysterious, keep you guessing, and take you unexpected but equally fascinating journey’s, then this is the film for you!