Di­rec­tor ef­fects fi­nale fix

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

Side Ef­fects is in­deed Steven Soder­bergh’s fi­nal film, as he says it will be, then in­trigu­ingly, it feels like he’s coming full cir­cle to the film that put him on the map – the trail­blaz­ing, 1989 in­die Sex, Lies and Video­tape. Both are lurid genre ex­er­cises, fo­cus­ing on the in­ter­twined lives of four cen­tral fig­ures. Both are about dan­ger, se­crets and ma­nip­u­la­tion, filled with characters who aren’t what they ini­tially seem, all of which Soder­bergh de­picts with his typ­i­cally cool de­tach­ment.

Twists and dou­ble-crosses oc­cur and schemes are re­vealed as layer upon layer of Scott Z. Burns’ clever script are peeled away. It’s dif­fi­cult to dis­cuss Side Ef­fects, star­ring Chan­ning Ta­tum, Jude Law and a stand­out Rooney Mara (pic­tured), with­out giv­ing too much away. Soder­bergh ap­proaches the dra­matic events with the same chilly tone that has marked so much of his work. Just as mat­ter-of-fact is the way the characters rat­tle off the names of the pre­scrip­tion drugs they’re on and dis­cuss which ones work bet­ter than oth­ers, from Well­butrin to Zoloft to the fic­ti­tious Ablixa. In an ac­cu­rate re­flec­tion of our im­pa­tient times, ev­ery­one in Side Ef­fects wants the quick fix: for their fi­nances, ca­reers, rep­u­ta­tions, sex lives and, most fun­da­men­tally, their moods.

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