CINE-CITY DIARY – 18th November – The Deep Blue Sea
The Second night had a lot to ask after the rip-roaring success of SHAME, could Terrence Davies’ ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ be as rewarding?
On my own tonight, we can only get a baby sitter for one screening a week, so anymore and I am left in a cinema on my Todd. Luckily the guys at Dukes always make you feel welcome. After a little queueing to get my press ticket I entered the theatre and awaited the film. To my amazement this was another SOLD OUT performance, which made me really happy for all involved.
Cine-City have done a brilliant job in selecting the right films for s Brighton audience. Everyone seemed very happy, and boy are the seats at Duke of York’s comfy!
Here is our review of The Deep Blue Sea
TITLE – THE DEEP BLUE SEA YEAR – 2011 DIRECTOR – TERRENCE DAVIES CAST – RACHEL WEISZ, TOM HIDDLESTON, SIMON RUSSELL BEALE WRITERS – TERRENCE RATTIGAN, TERRENCE DAVIES
Now let me get this out-of-the-way, this is not a film about a shark attack. There is not a Samuel L Jackson with a very dodgy hair choice getting eaten by an over sized great white. This is a very different film indeed. No, this is Terrence Davies’ take on Terrence Rattigan’s play ‘The Deep Blue Sea’, a very sombre look at love, obsession and the pain that goes with it.
It is often quite beautiful. The design and framing is stunning, yet it recurrently feels like it is stumped by it’s theatrical roots. Feeling emotionally under-grown and dated.
The story unfolds from the perspective of Hester Collyer, a tragically repressed wife of a British Judge, who falls madly and deeply in love with a former RAF pilot Freddie, played by Tom Hiddleston.
Opening on her attempted suicide, and then the story proceeds to flit back and forth in time to show insights into Hester’s marriage and love affair, while also examining the fall out achieved from an suicide attempt. In doing so, Davies manages to deliver a brilliant portrait of a woman in despair, whose decision to follow her heart and turn her back on her successful but loveless marriage could very well be the end of her, considering the time period.
Weisz is excellent at showing us a woman deep in misery, often allowed to fill her scenes with deft silence and blank expressionless stairs. She is the living evidence of a broken soul, tortured and who was completely unprepared for the pain that comes with giving into passion for the first time in her life.
But she is not alone in this, Hiddleston is puts in a fantastic turn too. He is charming and cruel in equal measures. Freddie has his own demons, he is still haunted by his own efforts during the war, even though he is in denial of his pain. Also the very tender and kind performance of Simon Russell Beale as Hester’s estranged Husband, loving but never intimate, he cannot compute his wife’s betrayal.
Although the cast are fantastic and the set design and direction work so well, it is a film that just didn’t sit right for me. It is a difficult film to like.
The misery and despair that completely envelops the characters of 90% of the time feels at times stifling. While the very british way of dealing with emotions with ‘a stiff upper lip old bean’ felt too contrived, especially at the big moments of the film, which made connection difficult.
The Deep Blue Sea works at its best when it is allowed to be silent, when the dialogue is at its minimum and it feel much more like a film, rather than a stage play working it’s audience. In these moments the cast really do shine. The depressing tone and sadness is something that will stay with you long after the closing credits, even though Davies does try to inject some hope in near the end
While this film is admirable in so many ways, it is underwhelming in many others. Which is a shame from a director with a reputation like Davies.
[starreview tpl=16 size='30']
Have you seen this film? Are you a fan of the play? Comment below…