* Today I could have witnessed film history as one of the most diverse contemporary American film director of Steven Soderbergh could very well have made his final film with ‘SIDE EFFECTS’, a new thriller from the writer of ‘Contagion’ (another Soderbergh film which I didn’t mind at all), with Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Let’s start with the pros! Firstly Soderbergh’s use of the Epic RED cam is still just terrific, everything looks very bleak, it adds to the atmosphere and his exemplifies his damning approach to the central discussion of the film about the US Healthcare System. Secondly the acting is terrific, Jude Law leads his talents very well (refreshing to see him back as the male lead) and the clinically depressed Rooney Mara (meant initially to be the usual Soderbergh stunt casted by Lindsey Lohan – like Gino Carino in ‘Haywire’ and Sasha Grey in ‘The Girlfriend Experience’) is ‘off the chain’ so to speak. Thirdly is the plotting. Scott Z Burns script is far more sophisticated piece then that of ‘Contagion’ which does share central theme’s but also looks at the victim’s perspective. However though this general plotting could be seen as its downfall, people might see the almost different direction the story takes midway through (out of the bloom my I add) might just put people off, and some could see it being a little silly, but Soderbergh’s direction gets a lot more out of its central themes then perhaps what has been wrote. To me, it felt with the way it started as a provocative discussion on heath care and then moved into a ‘Basic Instincts’ type thriller, really feels like it’s practically summing up the diverse career of one Steven Soderbergh, who’s filmography cant be summed by just one genre.
Still it’s nice to see Catherine Zeta-Jones been given something to do, even if they have just added glasses to her to make her be a Doctor. This still though is a very relevant film making to the highest degree in some regards. And personally recommend this to anyone with just on the sole purpose with (however you might end up feeling about it) just how and where this film goes/turn’s into. Terrific stuff and highly recommendable experience to behold. Soderbergh I’m already missing your film making!
*Note it was originally wrote in March 2013 – during the films UK release. Yes I know – you could say ‘Behind the Candelabra’ is his last film, here in the UK, but it was a HBO TV movie which just so happened to get a in cinema release over here from Entertainment One – same distributer of ‘Side Effects’.