This psychological thriller by Steven Soderbergh (“Side Effects” (2013)) has the distinction of being the first theatrical feature film shot almost entirely on iPhone cameras, and the result is impressive. Claire Foy (“Breathe” (2017)) plays Sawyer Valentini, a career-driven young woman who has just started a new job in a new city. We are invited to question her sense of reality when she becomes obsessed with the apparent stalking behaviour which is going on around her with her being the primary victim. When Sawyer is invited to spend a few days in a mental institution to rest and gather her wits, her apparent paranoia and delusions intensify. Soderbergh employs iPhone cameras very cleverly to both critique the provision of mental health help and to show Sawyer’s mounting psychological problems.
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Side Effects (2013)
Said to be the final film of Steven Soderbergh (‘Ocean’s Eleven‘ (2001), ‘Contagion’ (2011)), ‘Side Effects’, at first glance, seems to have everything going for it: a great director, impressive cast and an interwoven story, promising a gripping thriller ahead. However, ultimately, ‘Side Effects’ demonstrates that even these attributes are sometimes insufficient to make a great movie. In ‘Side Effects’, a young woman, Emily (Rooney Mara), finally welcomes her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), home after the latter has spent some time in prison. Finding herself unable to cope with her new routine, Emily, who also has a history of depression, becomes very melancholic, and is soon prescribed a new drug, Ablixa, to help maintain her mood. Her new psychiatrist, Dr Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) takes charge from her old psychiatrist, Dr Victoria Siebert, (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and promises to monitor Emily’s progress closely. Then, when Emily’s husband is brutally murdered at home, the new drug becomes the prime suspect.
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