Side Effects - the 2013 film of Steven Soderbergh

Saw this film today. I thought it was splendid, very well acted, and holding you all the way. I won't betray anything of the complex plot, especially since the film IS the plot. Just a few remarks.

Psychiatrist / psychotherapists play a key role in the film, two of them. Their power position and attention to financial success are vividly portrayed. Anti-depressants, their side effects (see title), and the whole pharma industry have pride of place in the plot. Clearly the pharma companies are even more driven by profit and financial greed.

And yet, for me, the really interesting strengths of the film came in the portrayals of the small number of protagonists, their relationships and behaviour - showing what people are capable of. In good American tradition, overall the main actors have a lot of agency, are goal-directed, and have little problem about being very active and determined about getting what they want. I wish that people in general found it so easy to determine their goals and move towards achieving them! And the film had a positive Hollywood ending: people got what they deserved....

A worthy film - apparently Soderbergh's last one, and a testament to his talents.

Here is the YouTube trailer.

Footnote: On 26 March the Guardian published an interview with Donald Singer, a pharmacologist working for the NHS, who is a bit surprised at a psychiatrist moving from the UK to the US by choice, and who thinks that thanks to NICE and the yellow card scheme a similar situation of prescribing a "dicey" (my word!) drug would not happen in the UK. Food for thought!