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Customer Review

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars psychiatric thriller - a genuine masterpiece, 9 April 2013
This review is from: Side Effects [Blu-ray] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
If you are looking for an update on the film noire - a caper that speaks to contemporary issues and conditions of life - you cannot do better than this film. Though I will talk of details in the film, I will avoid spoilers.

The film starts off with the image of violence in a home, then cuts to a drama of depression. A beautiful young woman appears to be fighting for her life, her eyes, her every motion afflicted with existential pain. Her husband, a crooked financier, is about to leave prison. She has been waiting for him for 4 years, in a job with supportive boss who understands depression from personal experience. After an attempt to hurt herself, she goes to see an ambitious young psychiatrist, who seems genuinely concerned and goes the prescription route, which is so commonplace today. As they run through traditional medications, the psychiatrist finally hits on an experimental one that he happens to be testing as a "consultant for pay" to a big pharma company. For a time it appears to work, then the woman suddenly becomes murderously violent, but perhaps only for a single instance.

As the case reaches the media, the doctor's life falls apart. Did he make mistakes? Was he ethically compromised? Did he have ulterior motives? Is he going crazy? Or was he somehow set up? The process becomes one of investigative backtracking, which in his desperation only the doctor believes may help. It is a story of an intricate and completely believable journey that in the end reveals that no one involved is who they appeared to be. In the delightful psychological twists, as only a great thriller can do, the viewer's perceptions of the characters is challenged again and again, with mounting fear and horror.

This is an absolute delight for connoisseurs of the noire genre, a deliciously wicked puzzle of moral ambiguity and revealed evil. Recommended with enthusiasm.
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