Side Effects: Film Review


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You gotta hand it to Mara Rooney: she sure knows how to make an audience take Channing Tatum seriously. And that too when he doesn’t have any impetus to save the heroine or take his shirt off. Bazinga.

Rooney Mara is one of the most uniquely talented actresses working in Hollywood today. Her chilly demeanor is not meant to scare, but to reflect an inner introspection that doesn’t exist (or come across) in other actors. Like Channing Tatum. Hence the amazing job she does as his pill-addicted wife struggling to come to terms with his release from jail for white collar financial crimes.

We often think of the robber barons on Wall Street that crashed the global economy in 2008 as dastardly, hedonistic villains; what we don’t think about are the people in their lives whose existences are routed by those same actions. This movie gives a small glimpse into such a world, though it takes a hard right turn into dealing with pharmaceutical panaceas in a culture too eager to solve everything with a pill or an injection.

Jude Law and Catherine Zeta Jones play her therapists; one is very lackadaisical about the effects of pills on his patient, while the other has a more circumspect view of what really ails her. It’s a complex and interesting tale about legal drug abuse. And probably one that many viewers will have no trouble relating to.

Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rooney Mara, Jude Law

Pictured: Channing Tatum,Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rooney Mara,Jude Law; “Side Effects” premiere in NYC on Jan. 31.