I watched Side Effects (2013) with Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I found this movie on iTunes recently while searching around for something to watch and added it to my wish list. I’ve liked Jude Law since I first saw him in Closer and I’ve always had an affinity for Catherine Zeta-Jones. With those two starring in this film I figured it would be a worthwhile one to watch.
It was a good film, with great acting and wonderful settings and a subtle score of music that wasn’t overbearing, but just right. The execution of the plot was excellent in that by the end there were several plot twists that I did not anticipate but wraps up the film in a good way.
Side Effects was a psychological drama where a young couple, successful in business has their world torn apart due to a white collar crime of insider trading by the husband, Martin Taylor, who was arrested and convicted of his crime. His wife, Emily Taylor had resented him for his crimes and the subsequent consequences that followed. Her fairy tale life had fallen apart and she began to see a psychiatrist, Dr. Victoria Seibert (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Emily and Dr. Seibert develop a secret, sensual relationship that lasts the duration of Martin’s incarceration.
Upon Martin’s release a plot to get rid of him for his sins ensues. Emily learned all the tricks to make herself appear depressed and used them against him by crashing her car into a wall, having a breakdown at a formal party. Then she sought out a new psychiatrist to see under the guise that Dr. Seibert was no longer available to treat her. The plot needed a patsy to use and Dr. Banks (Jude Law) just happened to be the one to fall prey – it could have been anyone though; he wasn’t personally singled out.
The plan was to get Dr. Banks to prescribe a new drug for depression which had the side effect of sleepwalking. After several rounds of treatment with other brands, the new drug was prescribed and soon led to Emily stabbing Martin in their home until he died. She practiced her call to 9-1-1 to make it sound as if she didn’t do it and happened to wake up and find him dead. A court trial ensued and she was found not guilty due to insanity and sent to a hospital for treatment and observation. The case had a very negative side effect on Dr. Banks’ career and personal life.
Through the plot and a research study on this new drug, Dr. Banks had received $50,000 to participate and was encouraged by Dr. Seibert to do so and prescribe it to Emily. After the court case, public scrutiny caused Dr. banks to lose his research study, his practice and his family after supposed compromising photos were anonymously mailed to his wife – by Dr. Seibert.
Dr. Banks obsession as I initially thought was the cause for his family problems, which in a way was the truth, but by the end it wasn’t obsession, but perseverance toward knowing why Emily killed her husband that drove him. Dr. Banks finally suspected Dr. Seibert had ulterior motives when he kept asking her questions about Emily and the drug and saw how she reacted and became evasive.
Through his personal investigations and assistance from state law enforcement he uncovered their romantic plot of murder, conspiracy and fraud. Dr. Seibert gets arrested and Emily is arrested [again] and is sent back to a psychiatric hospital.
Dr. Banks gets his name cleared, his practice back and his family back as well.