Side Effects

19 Feb


Synopsis: “A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.” (Rated R; 1 hour 46 minutes)

I liked this movie. I really did. I’m just trying to understand why I didn’t love it.

As an example of how most members of society are medicated, it was intriguing. As a courtroom drama showing how the legal system works with a challenging situation at hand, it was interesting. As a twisty thriller, where you don’t know what’s going to happen next, it was about average. The direction by Soderbergh was fine but less captivating then many of his past films. What I’m getting at is that it is a movie with a high pedigree that did a good job overall, but just never wowed me. I watch a movie like this, feel like everything was written, directed, and acted well, but that spark is just missing that can ignite it all into a great movie. The plot doesn’t captivate the viewer as much as you’d like, and the twists are fine, but don’t surprise as much as they should. (Both Adi and Jared were sitting there guessing what was going to happen, and they were both correct!)

I will also note that this is one of the very rare movies I hadn’t already seen previews for; meaning that every minute and each plot twist was new and unexpected to me, something I’m not used to in movies. (Isn’t it a frustrating experience watching a movie, waiting and waiting for something to develop that you already know about thanks to those damn previews; so that when it actually happens instead of saying “Wow!”, you instead think to yourself, “Finally, now I’m caught up with what I already knew was going to happen!”)

Rooney Mara did impress me in her followup to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and is clearly an impressive actress with little to no vanity to get in the way of her dark performances. I’m actually hoping that one of her upcoming performances will be more of the normal variety, so I can see how she acts when her character isn’t quite so dark and depressing. Jude Law provided his best performance in ages, and was someone who was fun to watch twisting and turning as the plot unraveled, seeing him attempt to put the pieces back together. He showed some star quality that I haven’t seen in ages from him, and it was wonderfully refreshing.

I wish I had more to say about the movie, but without giving away spoilers, it really was just a good, solid film that moves and intrigues slowly, and then sprints with it for the exciting final 30 minutes. But it simply could have been better, which just about sums it up.

The movie was better than Soderbergh’s female-driven action movie Haywire, which bored me to disappointment. It was less cool, and less exciting than his last movie, Contagion.

Quality Rating: B+

Boaz Rating: B+ (That may seem high given my complaints, but with a movie of this genre and director, I was just expecting to enjoy it a whole lot more than I did)


2 Responses to “Side Effects”

  1. Linda Hepner February 19, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Jude Law was terrific surely — maybe the best — in Anna Karenina. That was his star performance.
    Nice writing, Mr. Bo; lots of atmosphere when you write. Thanks for taking the hard work out of thinking, which we should be doing ourselves!


  2. boazconstrictor February 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    Yes he was good there, but he showed charisma and star power here that I haven’t seen since his breakout in The Talented Mr. Ripley


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