The Deep Blue Sea (2011)

The Deep Blue Sea begins with a suicide attempt scored with over-dramatic classical music, overlaid with histrionic strings. The music bothered me, though it’s very appropriate to the film on the whole, a classically-produced melodrama where characters alternate between either politely saying things like “See, I rather foolishly thought that my indifference would hurt your vanity,” or simply drunkenly yelling at one another.

The setting is post-war England, and the film details the woes that led Hester (Rachel Weisz) to attempt suicide – her husband is old and boring! Her mother-in-law is a judgmental old shrew! Her affair with a flamboyant younger man (Tom Hiddleston) has been discovered! It turns out her boyfriend is kind of a dick!

There is some impressive classical filmmaking here; languorous aerial shots gliding over its players, the careful use of framing, light and reflection are all in abundant evidence. But I couldn’t relate to or sympathise with Weisz’s character; her tale is certainly sad, but I always felt like a dispassionate observer. Her performance and the filmmaking were both excellent, but I felt that the film needed to do more work to let the audience in, especially when telling a story as small as this.

Rating: 100/200

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