Side Effects Sunday, 29 March 2020

Side Effects

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    MA15+: Strong sex scene.

  • The pitch:

    A cocktail of prescription drugs with a twist.

  • Starring:

    Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Mamie Gummer, James Martinez, Polly Draper

  • Directed by:

    Steven Soderbergh

  • Running time:

    106 minutes

  • Rated:

    MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)

  • VIOLENCE/GORE:

    A woman deliberately crashes her car into a wall. A woman repeatedly stabs her husband (the knife is seen penetrating his body then protruding from his back). A corpse is seen in a body-bag. Faces are slapped. A man is hit with an object. A woman is restrained forcefully (twice). Self-harm and suicide (actual and potential) are discussed. Murders are discussed. Arguing, raised voices and yelling. Blood/gore: Bloody handprints. Bloody feet and footprints. Blood smeared across clothing, floorboards and furniture.

  • SEX/NUDITY:

    Several scenes where a couple have sexual intercourse (both naked bodies are visible to the camera and male and female genitals are visible). Sexual activity and sex noises are apparent. A woman caresses her thigh. Oral sex is discussed. Passionate kissing and undressing between two females. Couples kiss passionately. Nudity: A couple having sex are fully nude. A woman is frequently seen in her underwear. People are seen undressing/dressing.

  • VICES/DRUG USE:

    Frequent mention, prescription and consumption of real drugs (Beta blockers, Prozac, Thorazine, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Zoloft, SSRIs, SNRIs, Sodium Amytal, Adderall, Depakote) and fictional drugs (Ablixa or "alipazone", Delatrix). Occurrence and discussion of side effects (dizziness, tiredness, decreased/increased libido, nausea, muscular weakness, dry mouth, insomnia, sedation, psychosis). IV fluids are administered. Electric shock treatment is seen and discussed. Alcohol (wine, beer, champagne, spirits).

  • LANGUAGE:

    F-words, s-words, religious exclamations.

  • THEMES:

    Psychiatry, depression, trial drugs, murder, double-dealing, insider trading, abandonment, vulnerability, guilt, desperation, intention to harm, distorted self-image, media scrum, investigation, justice, revenge, consciousness, getting away with murder, victimisation, fragility, blackmail, deceit, estrangement, confession, anxiety.

  • HIDDEN EXTRAS:

    Prison, hospital, funeral and courtroom settings. A Haitian man claims to see the ghost of his deceased father. A woman sticks her fingers down her throat (vomiting is heard). Injections are administered (needles are not seen entering the skin). Miscarriage is mentioned/discussed. Sleepwalking. A husband abandons his wife at their wedding when he is arrested. Photographic evidence suggests a man is having an affair. Paranoid schizophrenia (discussed). Adoption (mentioned). Several camera angles position the viewer at a significant height above the ground.

  • CRITICS LIKE:

    Intriguing plot that reveals its twist just as the story begins to labour. Rooney Mara is addictive. Foreboding score. Convincing performances given the unlikely storyline.

  • CRITICS DON'T LIKE:

    One scene with layered audio (television and people talking) is difficult to understand. Some sub-plots are a little weak and some performances feel strained. Humourless and potentially depressing.

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