by Erin Fitzpatrick
Side Effects, released Feb. 8, is an intense psychological thriller filled with twists, turns and a great cast.
Beginning the movie with a trail of blood and bloody footprints in a quiet apartment immediately hooks the viewer. With the words “three months earlier” appearing on screen following, it is impossible not to question where the movie will go next.
The story focuses on Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) who is suffering from depression. Her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) was recently released from prison for insider trading, and together they are working to rebuild their lives.
When Emily commits a murder while allegedly under the influence of her medicine prescribed by her psychiatrist, Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), she does not remember it. As a result, there is a question as to whether she is guilty or a victim of her medication.
Emily’s unexpected actions keep the attention of the audience. Mara plays this role with excellence, and is able to display the inner struggles of her character. She perfects the mysterious and eerie persona that Emily needs to have.
The movie also gives insight into the world of psychiatrists, the drugs they prescribe and the boundaries between patients and their doctors.
The mysteries that follow Jonathan and Emily’s past psychiatrist, Victoria Siebert (Catherine Zeta Jones) are also fascinating.
Although at times the film may be complicated with many drugs and schemes, by the end, the viewer is able to put the pieces together and understand the situation.
Between suicide, murder and prescription drugs, this film took many risks and keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.