Med- time story to keep you awake

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

ADECEPTIVELY in­tox­i­cat­ing thriller that is both highly in­tel­li­gent and highly im­plau­si­ble, marks the self- im­posed swan­song of master fi lm­maker Steven Soder­bergh.

While he is not go­ing out at the very peak of his pow­ers, a sec­ond- string Soder­bergh ef­fort is still bet­ter than most.

Here’s hop­ing his re­tire­ment turns out to be just a lit­tle wellde­served long- ser­vice leave.

( Renowned as one of the most pro­lifi c and stylis­ti­cally di­verse in his fi eld, Soder­bergh has cranked out an as­ton­ish­ing 17 features since the year 2000).

The many twists and turns to

Side Ef­fects be taken by all spi­ral out from a char­ac­ter named Emily, played by Rooney Mara.

It would be fair to say Emily is hav­ing a rather tough time of it as the fi lm be­gins.

Her hus­band, ex- stock­bro­ker Martin ( Chan­ning Ta­tum), has just com­pleted a fi ve- year prison sen­tence for in­sider trad­ing.

With a long wait over, and the pres­sure of start­ing a new life bear­ing down upon her, Emily has a ner­vous break­down.

Dur­ing a sub­se­quent spell in hospi­tal, Emily is re­ferred to a hot­shot Bri­tish psy­chi­a­trist, Jim ( Jude Law).

He pre­scribes a re­cent­lyre­leased won­der drug which looks

Side Ef­fects as if it might be the quick fi x for all of Emily’s prob­lems.

As we all know, looks can be de­ceiv­ing. And as we come to learn from the an­tide­pres­sant that Jim is dis­pens­ing to his pa­tients does a hell of a lot more than what it says on the la­bel. Not that Jim is any wiser. Like many in his fi eld, Jim has ac­cepted the big- bucks back­ing of a ma­jor phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany.

By just push­ing his spon­sor’s pills at his pa­tients, the pay­days come thick and fast.

With Soder­bergh’s sure hands on the con­trols, goes about its un­usual line of busi­ness a lit­tle Hitch­cock- ish at times, a

Side Ef­fects, bit at oth­ers, very ef­fec­tively in­deed.

Nev­er­the­less, it is best not to take cau­tion­ary tale of medic­i­nal woe all too se­ri­ously.

The fi lm cun­ningly con­ceals a camp streak for as long as it can.

By the fi nal half- hour, it can be hid­den no longer.

Some will feel Soder­bergh in­dulges in one mini- mad­cap mood swing too many ( if you’re won­der­ing why Cather­ine Ze­taJones is in the cast, there’s your rea­son right there). This may be so, but the fi lm­maker is smart enough to never let such a tall story get the bet­ter of so many short, sharp thrills.

Ba­sic In­stinct

Side Ef­fects’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.