The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Side Effects trades thrills for real depth

By Taylor Jensen/entertainment editor

Side Effects, from Magic Mike director Steven Soderbergh, has Channing Tatum taking care of a depressed wife instead of taking off his clothes.

Although Martin (Channing Tatum) and wife Emily (Rooney Mara) loved life before Martin was arrested for insider trading, Emily relies on the new drug Ablixa to help her depression.Photo courtesy Di Bonaventura Pictures
Although Martin (Channing Tatum) and wife Emily (Rooney Mara) loved life before Martin was arrested for insider trading, Emily relies on the new drug Ablixa to help her depression.Photo courtesy Di Bonaventura Pictures

Tatum’s character, Martin Taylor, is released from prison after serving four years for insider trading. His wife, Emily, exceptionally played by Rooney Mara, is battling severe depression, which threatens her state of mind.

Seeking help, Emily agrees to see psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law), who, after Emily’s nausea from other medications, prescribes the new anxiety medication Ablixa. Ad campaigns for the drug promise to help depressed individuals look forward to a brighter future and “Take Back Tomorrow.” Instead, Ablixa has unexpected side effects for Emily.

Even though his part is small compared to others in the film, Tatum has an almost poetic role as a Prince Charming who isn’t quite perfect. Mara impresses and frightens with her questionable sanity, and Law brings charm and likability to his character.

This movie raises fair questions about the judicial and medical systems in our country that, in some instances, fail. It is, in fact, more provocative and different than any movie I’ve seen recently. Yet it’s biggest problem is its inability to find any constant emotional footing.

The viewer could actually become confused with how bipolar Side Effects feels. Sometimes, it’s sad and tragic, and at other times, it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Because it is shocking and downright creepy but never actually suspenseful, Side Effects jeopardizes the emotional depths it reaches for a simple and clichéd shock value.

Side Effects is truly a thriller. It not only wants to keep you guessing, it takes you on a roller-coaster ride of sex, lies, murder and lunacy. Whether you want to be jerked around at every turn is up to you.

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