Living a life of luxury, their life came crashing down around them when Martin Taylor was arrested, sending his wife, Emily, into a tailspin of depression sending her to a psychiatrist to cope with her sudden life alone, losing everything so suddenly. The first psychiatrist to treat her was Catherine Zeta-Jones as Dr. Victoria Siebert, apparently successfully as it seems that she is now happy and productive in her job until she has to cope with the readjustment of having Martin back home, trying to start life all over again and facing the prejudices and judgmental attitudes of his former associates as he attempts to rebuild his credibility. The pressure proves to be too much for her as she begins to display signs of paranoia and anxiety disorder, sending her to Jude Law as Dr. Jonathan Banks for help, which of course these days means drugs. He begins to dispense one drug after another as she continues to have difficulties coping. He notices in her medical history that she had previously sought treatment from Dr. Siebert and asks for permission to reach out to her for her insight into Emily’s mental background.
He meets Dr. Siebert at a seminar for a new psychotropic drug in clinical trials by the name of ABLIXA, and Dr. Banks decides to be part of the trials and dispenses the new drug to Emily. In spite of apparently early success with Emily’s sudden increased sexual appetite and happiness, suddenly one night, Martin is wakened in the middle of the night as she is preparing breakfast displaying strange signs of being disconnected, and when he gets up to investigate, the next things she knows, Emily wakes up the next morning with Martin’s dead body lying in a pool of blood with her kitchen knife in his back with multiple stab wounds.
Who is really guilty when a drugged patient commits an unthinkable crime, like murdering her husband? Is it the doctor who prescribed the drugs? Is it the drug company who has failed to adequately test the drugs and emphasize the side effects to the doctors and public? Or is it the patient who must ultimately be held responsible for his/her actions, even though they may have no recollection of that time due to the effects of the powerful mood-altering chemicals in their brain?
You will NOT see the gyrations this storyline takes you through or the unexpected surprise ending, but it will keep you guessing and intrigued. Jude Law gives an outstanding performance as he defends his reputation and his life. I was disappointed that Channing Tatum didn’t have more screen time since he is one of today’s sexiest and most popular actors having recently been named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for 2012. While it probably won’t be up for any Oscar nominations, “Side Effects” is worth seeing, in my humble opinion.
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