Being a mainstream -maker Soderbergh knows his craft very well. He knows how to keep the audiences glued to the screen. What he offers more is the novelty of subject that he presents in each of his films. From Sex, lies and videotapes to Erin Brokovich; from Kafka to Solaris; from Traffic to Contagion or Magic Mike: Soderbergh never fails to hit his audience with a fresh, innovative story that lingers with them for a while. Side Effects is yet another very good film made by the very good director concentrating on story-telling.
The film apparently begins with the same pretenses of a becoming a story of corporate greed of pharmaceutical companies against the poor souls trying to save themselves: a subject that is done to death in Hollywood. But it does not take long for the viewer to understand that this might not be it: Soderbergh may not have any outright propaganda as such. Rather it tells us the story of a psychiatrist (played to perfection by the virtuoso actor Jude Law) entangled in the mess he never intended to be. The story that began as the story of a victim, a psychiatric patient who inadvertently kills her husband in her sleep under the influence of a experimental drug that induces somnambulism as its apparent side effects gradually evolves into the a thriller where the focus gradually shifts towards her psychiatrist and her former psychiatrist, a small ominous role played by Zeta Zones. The film touches various subjects: from insider trading, to the insanity pleas manipulated by the criminals, but at the end it is an engaging story told in a very appealing way.
Side Effects would keep you engaged and make you attracted to the suave urbane story telling of Soderbergh. I’ll be waiting for the future ventures of this great director who seldom lets his admirers down.