Directed by Terence Davies and adapted from Terence Rattigan’s play, ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ explores how remnants of war-time still have an impact. Set in the early 1950’s where Britain slowly re-discovered its identity; the story shows a woman finding her own. Trapped by the social mores of the era, her endeavour to break free of the class structure provides some interest in an unfocussed production.
Wife of senior judge Sir William (Simon Rusell Beale), Hester (Rachel Weisz) embarks on an affair with former RAF pilot Freddie (Tom Hiddleston). Finding a freedom she never has with her husband, Hester has to make a choice between the two men. Although living a comfortable life as a prominent citizen’s spouse, her need for more emotional involvement has led her into Freddie’s embrace. Facing a life changing dilemma, the choice she makes will have lasting consequences for those around her.
With characters still affected by memories of a fading war, ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ should be more interesting. A gripping story is there with the love triangle of fractured people having much potential. That it generally fails comes down to some poor directorial choices. Whilst he may be conveying Rattigan’s original work, Davies’s handling of the material falls flat. Over-emphasising emotional traumas via screeching violins his filming in the style of a ‘British stiff-upper lip kitchen sink melodrama’ creates annoyance than empathy.
The central trio do their best to express the feelings of desperation trapping their characters. Weisz makes some good use of her challenging role even if it’s a little difficult feeling much sympathy for her character. Perhaps it’s the way the play was adapted – there is very little genuine passion generated. Everyone seems to be going through the motions with the story’s themes repeated endlessly.
‘The Deep Blue Sea’ has something to say – even if its words aren’t translated effectively to screen. It all looks very pretty with the 1950’s setting looking charming – although one wonders what the point of the whole enterprise is by the time the credits roll.
Movie Review Rating 5 / 10
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at current movie releases in Australia.