It is Friday so I thought I would change the tenor of the blog in time for the weekend. The NSA will still be spying on us come Monday so you might as well pour yourself a drink, find a dance partner, pull out the private stash you keep hidden or shuffle some cards. Maybe you will do all the above! Why not? During the weekend it might be possible you find yourself wanting to rent a DVD so let me recommend one to you; Side Effects.
I normally keep up on the movies, big or small release, but I have to confess when this one hit the cinema it flew under my radar. I am not even sure I saw it advertised for the cinema but I might have been on the road or something, who knows. It came to my attention when two of my friends in Germany, Mr. & Mrs. Nevet, emailed me how they had gone to see it. Actually, that was recently so I was surprised to find it already on the counter in the rental shop. If you read Stephen Spielberg’s and George Lucas’ comments today, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. I might blog on that later because those two caused a real tremor in the entertainment business today.
There is actually a semi-funny story about me trying to rent it. I went to rent it for Memorial Day and I walked up to where it was on the shelf and a lady was standing there looking at it like she wasn’t really sure if she should rent it or not. I said, “Oh, I hear that is really good. Some friends of mine in Germany just saw it and loved it.” She said, “Really?” I said, “Absolutely.” So she took it. When I stepped up to get my copy I discovered she had taken the last one. 🙂 That will teach me to keep my mouth shut!
This movie though is a psychological thriller. If you are the type that needs to see the train coming down the tracks at you from a mile away then it isn’t for you. If however you like a good Hitchcock style film with plenty of twists then yeah, this should be the one you rent. I will do my best not to give any spoilers here but it may be hard to do.
Jude Law is in the lead on this one. (For some of my lady friends, Channing Tatum is also in it. For some of you, that will be enough said.) I always say there are actors and there are movie stars. Jude Law is an actor. He has played some great characters. Oddly, the photographer assassin in Road To Perdition is the first one of his that always comes to my mind. In this one he plays a psychiatrist who is treating a lady for depression and she ends up killing her husband when she is in a sleepwalking trance from a drug he prescribed – or was she really in a trance? That is the premise behind this movie.
Jude Law covers a wide-range of emotions in this film and I think this was a top-notch performance on his part. In fact, all the actors/actresses did really extremely well. It was above-par performances across the board. There isn’t a lot of action but there is tons of Hitchcock-like tension. Rooney Mara (trivia for Steeler fans – she is the granddaughter of Art Rooney), is excellent as a killer. She brings just enough sex-appeal and emotional range to keep you on the edge of your seat.
It did take the movie a few moments – but in a natural way – to set up the premise but once the crime is committed the movie moves to a whole new level of anxiety. The pace is really well-kept. I think only once did I think it might be dragging a tag but that was only for a couple of minutes and frankly, because I write, I am really picky about that stuff so I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into it.
I did, however, early on pick up on a key clue that foreshadows the ending. It happened really, really early in the film. Honestly, I am not sure if I hadn’t been a writer if I would have caught it. The problem with writers is when we watch stuff like this we know why a line is where it is. 🙂 But by the time that line comes into play on the plot you almost have forgotten about it. I won’t say anything about the ending other than you won’t be confident how this movie wraps up until you get there and for me that is hallmark of a really well-made thriller.
So in honor of Siskel and Ebert who are sadly no longer around to do so, I give this movie a big thumbs up! I also give a big thumbs-up to my friends the Nevets for shooting the recommendation and to all of you out there, enjoy your weekend!