Fiona Purnell at the Movies

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Side Effects

If what he says is true, and this is his last film, then it’s a pretty good one to finish on.

It’s certainly something different and extremely well crafted.

This is a provocative thriller about successful couple Emily and Martin (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum).

Emily is plagued by irrational anxieties and her emotional and psychological problems are heightened by the imminent release of her husband from prison.

The film starts as a look at her spiral into depression.

Emily is prescribed a new drug by her psychiatrist Dr Jonathan Banks, played by Jude Law.

The anti-depressant, Ablixa, aims to keep her anxiety under control.

Initially it seems to do the trick, but it has unexpected side effects and the drug leads Emily down a path that could never have been foreseen by the psychiatrist.

‘Side Effects’ is a gripping thriller that examines America’s prescription drug culture and it’s been compared by many of the critics as being something in the mould of Hitchcock’s work.

It’s a sophisticated film that will have you hooked and is full of plenty of twists and turns.

There are some excellent performances in there, including Mara as Emily.

It’s her first lead role since ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ and she continues to show great strength and potential as a leading lady.

She switches from vulnerable to someone who should be feared with ease and is believable as both.

Jude Law is the another that stands out, possibly because this is one of his better roles in a long time.

Law appears as the ambitious and fashionable psychiatrist who thinks of himself as a decent guy.

He’s compassionate, handsome and the perfect man to try and assist Emily with her mental issues.

Although it may begin a little too slowly for some, give it a chance and the pace fairly picks up.

Some great cinematography and a fairly powerful script, written by Scott Z. Burns (‘Contagion’), transforms this into a film that’s great to watch.

For those who enjoy thought-provoking cinema and a cleverly plotted thriller - this is one for you.