Side Effects

Wow, Side Effects is a good movie. It begins with the tale of a depressed young society wife whose medication plays really nasty tricks on her….but then becomes so much more.

Side Effects

To be honest, I was really expecting a Sodeburgh procedural exposing the iniquities of Big Pharma – a Contagion-esque whodunnit following the insistent thudding steps between mild depression, drug popping and devastating side-effect breakdown. I certainly wasn’t expect an old style noir-ish psychological thriller.

I won’t tell you anything more about the plot except it’s magnificent, and twisty, and joyfully cruel. Rooney Mara is electrifying, Jude Law is fantastic. Great stuff. Vivid New York locations too.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

So here’s what I understood from Fincher’s English-language re-telling of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: James Bond (great titles by the way) has retired from the secret service and is now living and working in Sweden where he’s surrounded by perfectly cast Europeans with great accents. He is hired by a wealthy industrialist to find out who murdered his niece over thirty years ago. Now James Bond isn’t a sleuth, he’s a spy for god’s sake, so he doesn’t do a very good job of it until he hires a computer hacker who everyone seems to be fond of, in spite of her lack of eyebrows. Together, quicksticks, they solve a completely different set of crimes, and we never, ever again, hear the thumpingly good music of the opening sequence.

So: Great cast, did I mention? Great sound track. Great story, obviously. Let down somewhat by spotty pacing. But the Swedish locations completely rock; unlike just about everything else in the film, the filming locations look better and are more lovingly painted than in the original. I want to go there, though Swedes’re patently all quite nuts.