Side Effects and Steven Soderbergh’s Career Upodcast Review

Although Behind The Candelabra didn’t get a theatrical release in the US but did in the UK, we revisit Steven SoderBergh’s second to last movie, Side Effects.

Is it a bird, is it a plane?  No, it’s a Steven Soderbergh thriller with more twists in it than dress-changes in Priscilla Queen of the Desert.  Upod returns to the fray in quick time with a podcast dedicated to possibly the great man’s last ever directed film.  If you believe the rumours that is.   We at Upodcasting have a typically varied take on the Sod: he’s great, he’s OK, he’s overrated.  That said, Side Effects does truly unite us and there ain’t that many movies that do that!

So if this is to be Steve’s final cut, what has he left us with?  It’s pretty much the Jude Law and Rooney Mara show from start to finish, with effective enough filler parts from Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones.  So whilst the pared down cast makes it seem relatively simple, there are so many twists and turns a red herring would get lost whilst looking for a wild goose.  Thankfully, we navigate these and can say the film is really about: mental illness, “big” pharma, psychiatry, manipulation and revenge.  Plus of course all of the moral – or otherwise – hazards that accompany such matters.  It could be suggested that when you throw such a volumes of mud at something, then only some of it will stick.  And whilst there are certain things that don’t quite ring true enough, the vast majority do and we’re left with a cracking good thriller with a hefty dollop of Hitchcock as things unfold.

So Steven (Moby and Jim Rash have yet to be seen in the same room), if this is truly your last film as a director, then you’ve left us with a cracker and we’re grateful.  And if not, then we just chalk this one up to being another on the long list of successes over your prolific 25+ year career.
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@martincawley