Thursday, February 14, 2013

Side Effects Movie Review/Story Line

Disclaimer: I'm about to tell just about everything I remember from the movie Side Effects. Well I'll tell some of it. If you have not watched it yet and plan to see it, do not read further.

It starts off with a man and his mother going to see his wife at her job. This is his first time out in the real world after five years. He committed a federal crime that was never really explained. So he and his wife are together again after so many years, but instead of being happy she's sad.This woman is so sad that when leaving work she drives into a brick wall. The scene is kind of intense even though it moves fast. Is she dead? How badly injured is she if she survives? What will happen next? 

The male psychiatrist is then introduced into the movie. He's a struggling doctor working crazy hours while trying to please his wife and put his son through private school. He seems a like his attention span is clouded from the start as he is introduced to his new depressed patient. She had just driven her car into a wall. She should have been hospitalized and tested. Instead he lets her go with a prescription and promise she'll see him regularly. Of course her husband promises to watch over her too. 

Was she really depressed? The only way anyone knows that she has had issues is because she saw a psychiatrist years before when he husband first went to prison. However, she's on medication now. While taking this medication she has moments where she pukes and cries in front of crowds of people. All her husband can do is comfort her. She also has another suicide attempt in a train station. Right after this suicide attempt she quickly runs to the doctor, who at the time is talking to his wife. 

The wife of the doctor also has issues. She is looking for a new job and getting prescription pills from him. Was his wife depressed? This part was never discussed deeper. Instead he pushes her back to do his job. 

This man leaves his wife to talk to his patient. His patient, this woman that has become a part of his attention span, suggests being put on Ablixa. Ablixa is a new medication (fictional of course) for the treatment of people in manic depressive states. While it cures people, it also has several side effects such as nausea and insomnia. He agrees to put her on the medication. 

As she gets into the routine of the medication everything seems fine. She is smiling again, going on dates with her husband, and having lots of sex. Then one day her husband wakes up to loud music and food on the table. Is someone visiting them in the middle of the night? No, she's sleep walking. The side effects have kicked in.The doctor knows, but she convinces him she wants to stay on Ablixa. In the mean time, she's been approved to test out another medication for a study that would take place in Houston. They don't make it to the study. 

One night the husband comes home and it looks as if she's sleep walking again. The sleep walking seems to be her main side effect.This time, however, she has a knife in her hand. When he goes up to her, she stabs in several different locations of his body. Afterwards, she stares at his body for a few minutes and gets in the bed. The next scene involves paramedics and her being handcuffed. She did kill her husband after all. 

From this point a two huge questions come up. One involves her possibly being a killer. The other involves her possibly being a victim of her medical treatment. The victimization part can be proved through her doctor's records. There was proof she was having side effects and nothing was done about it. She initially thinks she'll get acquitted of the charges. Instead they tell her that her only option is to plead insanity and get locked up in a psychiatric ward. She agrees. The case is over, but the doctor is not through. 

His life is ruined. The study for the new drug cuts him from their program. His own co-workers say he should take a leave of absence. He has no patients left, except for the one that committed a murder. He's determined to get his life back. As he tries to put the pieces together, his wife leaves him. None of this deters him. He eventually finds out this woman was never depressed. She has been lying the whole time. It does not matter though. The legal system has something called a double jeopardy. You can't try someone twice for the same crime. However, her old psychiatrist is still in the picture so he digs deeper. 

Shit gets wild at this point.The story takes a whole different turn. The new direction involves money, broken regulations, lesbian lovers, and black mail. How will he get his life back? Someone has to tell the truth. His patient, the newly sane woman, finally talks. She confesses that the only medication she ever took was the Ablixa. It did nothing for her since she was in fact not crazy. This leads to the other psychiatrist being arrested. That's not the end though. 

The newly sane woman thinks she is going to just set up her lover and walk free. Nope, she killed someone. They can't get her for murder, but she has been declared insane. They get her by trying to put her on more medication. When she refuses, she is declared insane again. When she tries to run, they have no choice but to restrain her. The ending of the movie is pure genius. 

Side Effects was genus. Even though the medication was made up, the story line felt real. I really thought she was depressed. I really thought that murder might be a side effect of some prescribed drug. I was really into this doctor's destroyed career. However, I hated some of the camera angles. There were a few times when I cringed. Who approved those cuts? Overall, it was a great movie that I'd watch again. 

1 comment :

  1. The husband was sent to jail for insider trading. He worked in the financial industry and, upon release, is trying hard to get back into this industry. In jail, he made contact with another convict who was also sentenced for financial, white-collar crime. Their new, planned venture would launch in Houston where the friend has contacts. This is why the husband was talking up a possible move to Houston. Not the drug trial.