Many people harshly criticized ‘Side Effects’ for hiding two totally different movies inside. Because this brilliant feature film by Steven Soderbergh is, first, a drama about the power of depression, an analysis of the bill that leaves this beast without mercy or patience, and, furthermore, a somewhat light and superficial denunciation of the way in which the world of medicine, and especially the pharmaceutical company, takes advantage of this situation to carry out its most important objective: to make the best possible business.
But, established characters and plot, Soderbergh then decides to make a more pronounced turn and turn his story into a classic thriller, with echoes of Alfred Hitchcock himself. A change in substance, not in form, in which many saw a missed opportunity by Soderbergh to make one of his best films.
And yes, but no. Because, although it is true that this first section is particularly successful, with the ability to capture the viewer’s attention, submerged in a portrait of depression that highlights the most chaotic characteristics of the disease, Soderbergh seems much less pretentious, more liberated, enjoying his creature more when he focuses on the twists of the script, surprise after surprise, trick and trap and the intricacies of his story.
What had a vein to shoot a sober and elegant denunciation of the pharmaceutical mafia and the game it establishes with our diseases? Yes. What did you feel like doing? a sober and elegant thriller of a lifetime for the enjoyment of the general public? Well too. And, hey, it turned out better than okay.