Publishing independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Publishing independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Publishing independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Join our team
Join the Falcon Media team for Spring semester - paid staff positions, internships, volunteer opportunities. Applications open now until October 13. Get the details!
The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Women in Horror for Halloween
    It’s that time of year again where the weather is starting to cool down and the Halloween decorations are being put out. For me once it hits end of September my TBR becomes nothing, but horror and thriller novels. As a big mood reader the seasons and holidays determine what I want to read next. […]
  • My Fiction Icks
    By Jay Grummel When you read as much as I do you start to notice common things in fiction that make you annoyed, upset  or even want to put down the book completely. I have a bad habit of not giving books much of a chance when they use some of these personal ‘icks’. However, […]

Movie Review: “Side Effects”

Grade: B-

“Side Effects” focuses on protagonist Emily Taylor’s (Rooney Mara) mental illness. However, the movie itself seems to suffer from a bit of split personality disorder: of what genre is “Side Effects” supposed to be?

The movie is a common who did it mystery.

It is a spin off detective mystery and a political piece exploring how our mental health care system works.

The first half of the movie is devoted to the more political side. From the standpoint of plot action, the first half is frankly not so exciting. After Emily’s husband is released from prison, Emily continues her struggle with depression, which leads to an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

After the incident, Emily becomes a patient of psychologist Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law). Viewers then witness Emily struggle with both depression and the side effects of medication. When her medication causes her to commit a serious crime, she and Dr. Banks are forced to deal with the legal repercussions.

This first half, while perhaps not action-packed, brings up valid criticisms of our current mental health care system.

First, many unqualified but well-meaning friends recommend specific depression medications for Emily. The various characters’ willingness to prescribe Emily medication (as well as to take medication themselves) is as shocking as it is widespread.

Through these various characters, filmmakers make a critique of our current approach to mental illness. Characters seem much too eager to prescribe pills, using medication much more often than other forms of therapy.

The film also explores the relationship between drug companies and how psychology is practiced. Several of the psychologists in the movie prescribe certain medications because they stand to benefit financially from the sales of the drug.

The second half of the movie suddenly takes on a different tone as Dr. Banks begins to suspect that the seemingly straightforward events that have taken place are not at all what they seem. From then on, the movie focuses on a detective mystery as Dr. Banks struggles to find which character is responsible for the crime.

While moviegoers might struggle to classify “Side Effects” in terms of genre, that criticism need not mean that the movie is bad. Perhaps it is a political piece made more exciting by a traditional mystery, or a traditional mystery made more serious by focusing on important social issues. Either way, it offers a mixture of both excitement and political overtones.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *