Ahhh, Steven Soderbergh. The man apparently has retired from directing films but I don’t think the man can stay away. I think he’s just burnt out. He’s made ten films since 2007 and has been a producer on countless other productions. I hope he doesn’t stay away from the camera for too long because he’s a one of a kind director that is constantly doing unique projects one after the other. He has directed films such as The Informant which cause me to walk out of the theater early (which never happens) and has directed films that have hooked me in like Contagion, Traffic, and this film…Side Effects.
The story follows Emily Taylor played by Rooney Mara as she deals with her depression and sees a psychiatrist played wonderfully by Jude Law. This is all I can tell you without going into spoiler territory. The film twists and turns that much.
I thought the film did a good job fitting into the “Hitchcock” mold that most thrillers try to adhere too but most end up failing to accomplish. The mystery that Jude Law is trying to uncover is a well written mystery that had me guessing. It managed to flip itself around multiple times without giving the viewer the spins although the final act was a bit muddy at times. Also, was Soderbergh trying to make a political statement about pharmaceutical companies trying to make money at the expense of the health of others? It’s certainly possible the way the plot progressed but what we have here is a classic mystery story that would have worked great as a Noir film which was a pleasant surprise to me considering how much I enjoyed my last film, The Third Man. The acting was good borderline great with Law really shining.
Don’t quit making films Mr. Soderbergh. The business will miss your versatility.
Academy Award WINNER for Best Cinematography
Academy Award Nominee for Best Director (Carol Reed)
Academy Award Nominee for Best Editing IMDB TOP 250 – #76
Ahhh, Noir. It’s a genre I haven’t quite tackled as much as I would like too but this is certainly a great example of how good a Noir film can be. The film revolves around Holly Martins, a mystery novelist who travels to Vienna to see his friend Harry Lime. Upon arrival he finds out Lime was killed in an accident but the evidence doesn’t sit well with Martins. The film progresses as Martins tries to find out what really happened.
I’m going to get my only gripe with the film out of the way now. The music. The film had this weird carnival music in the background of a film that was actually very dark in subject matter. It wasn’t enough to take me out of the movie but it just didn’t fit with me. The mystery of what happened to Harry Lime is a good one. The viewer generally doesn’t know why the pieces don’t fit and in my case, was very interested in seeing Martins piece them together. Orson Wells, who plays Harry, dominates the entire film even though he is barely in it. It’s an iconic role for somebody with such little screen time. Reminded me a little of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. The whole movie revolves around a character who is barely present. The visuals in The Third Man were also very nice and got really stunning as the film progressed. Overall it was a fantastic Noir film that will probably catapult me into the genre a bit more.
I’ll be honest. I lost interest in this quick. This is not a great movie. It certainly isn’t bad but I just didn’t find the story all that interesting to stay 100 percent focused. Barry Fitzgerald was pretty great in this although he basically plays the same exact character he did in the fantastic NYC noir film “The Naked City”. The story focuses on a woman who spots a man packing heat on a train. The subsequent chase unveils that the man is working for a thug boss who has kidnapped the daughter of a very wealthy man. She also happens to be blind. Why? I have no idea. This is just the story. The rest of the film follows suit. The direction was bland and there just wasn’t anything unique happening. Sometimes I find myself saying…”Hey! This film is in black and white, it must be great!”. There are average films all over the place guys. This was one of them.