Jude Law stars as Dr. Jonathan Banks, a British Psychiatrist, who has a patient who’s been taking the reputed wonder medication “Ablixa”. Later we learn that it induces psychosis. His patient is Emily (Rooney Mara). In seeming depression she crashes her car into a wall. Her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from jail and she kills him whilst taking Law’s prescribed drug. Catherine Zeta Jones plays a psychologist in secret league with Rooney Mara, expecting her client to get off the murder charge due to diminished responsibility. Rooney Mara felt that her life was falling apart after her husband was arrested so she then has a sexual and financial relationship with Zeta Jones. Will Zeta Jones and Rooney Mara be found out as Law is in deep trouble from the case as his wife leaves him?
Quite a watchable John Grisham type story. Law does not have to torture the American accent so he can be his estuary self. The story is well paced and the characters go through their not overly demanding roles well enough. Pharmaceutical corruption is one of the really big corporate sins, and when it’s combined with mental illness then any film must think it’s taking on a pretty challenging subject, but this film does not do justice to such a topic. How could It? The Jennifer Lawrence and Brad Cooper movie Silver Lining Playbook similarly was rather lightweight. The subject is glamourised and so is too simplified. Law does a reasonable job as a put upon psychologist but he is no crusader in the class of Erin Brokivitch (played by Julia Roberts). His mission is not to tackle corporate pharmaceutical sin (Harrison Ford did this as Richard Kimble in The Fugitive) so much as to clear his name and outwit the two women who are involved in murder. Would Law’s psychiatrist really have as much power over a patient in spite of his disgrace over prescribing “Ablixa” for a patient? This is dramatically neat but is it realistic? Better to go along for the noir-ish ride. It’s a thriller about control, sex, and money. Catherine Zeta Jones has the Black Widow role (remember that ’80s film?) and she holds attention as she plays the snake oil saleswomen, all close up sexualized predatoriness. Rooney Mara is all poor little girl chic, vulnerability disguising menace. Watchable but don’t expect any innovative angles.