The Deep Blue Sea

November 25th, 2011


The Deep Blue Sea

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The Deep Blue SeaStill of Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue SeaStill of Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston in The Deep Blue SeaStill of Tom Hiddleston in The Deep Blue Sea

The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 5.9/10 (573 voted)

Director: Terence Davies

Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale

The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

Writers: Terence Davies, Terence Rattigan

Rachel Weisz - Hester Collyer
Tom Hiddleston - Freddie Page
Simon Russell Beale - William Collyer
Karl Johnson - Miller
Barbara Jefford - Mrs. Collyer
Ann Mitchell - Mrs. Elton
Harry Hadden-Paton - Jackie Jackson
Sarah Kants - Liz Jackson
Jolyon Coy - Philip Welch

Release Date: 25 November 2011

Filming Locations: Aldwych Underground Station, Aldwych, Holborn, London, England, UK

Gross: £494,603 (UK) (29 January 2012)

Did You Know?

Terence Davies wanted Rachel Weisz for the part of Hester Collyer after he noticed her and her "incredible talent" in Swept from the Sea. He called his agent to meet Weisz, who he hadn't heard of before seeing her in that film, saying "Have you ever heard of this girl Rachel Weisz?". His agent joked him by answering "She's an Oscar winner!". Weisz laughs at this by saying "I don't think Terence (Davies) knows very well anyone who's not in a black and white film".

User Review

Beautiful but misguided

Rating: 7/10

I had to watch this movie twice because I was "distracted" so to speak upon the first viewing and had to come back for a more objective viewing!

Based on the Terence Rattigan play of the same name, the movie tells the story of the wife of a British judge (Weisz and Beale respectively) in 1950s London, who leaves her husband for a young ex Royal Airforce pilot (Hiddleston).

First impressions: this movie hurts. I came out of the cinema deeply affected by the ending of the play – in particular the intense dialogue exchange between Hester and her lover Freddie. It was Hiddleston's delivery of the lines "I don't enjoy hurting you. I'm not a sadist. We're lethal to each other. It's over Hess" which killed me. The glint of a tear in his eye and the tangible sadness… it's a slow burning pain!

It wasn't until the second viewing that I realised the flaw in the movie. Freddie isn't the character I'm supposed to be empathising with! It's Hester!

However, I found this a little difficult especially in light of the fact that I didn't necessarily believe Rachel Weisz… she is fabulous and I adore her as an actress, but there was something about the deliberateness of her acting which was perhaps too theatrical to be genuine?

Then on the other hand… maybe we're not supposed to pity Hester either? All the characters are clearly meant to be flawed in this story. Hester is extensively emotionally needy (seriously, who contemplates suicide if their other half forgets their birthday!?), her husband William is sweet but boring and too much of a mummy's boy, and Freddie is a drunkard (supposedly, though you don't really get the idea of that in the movie as opposed to the fact that he just got drunk after learning of Hester's extremities). I read the play to try clarify this discrepancy but I know as much now as I did in the beginning. Like all literature – everything is open to interpretation!

The movie is slow – which many people may find off putting. But I have watched far slower movies than this! My main criticism of this movie is that it feels more theatrical than genuine at times… only Hiddleston and Beale are the only two who display entirely credible sincerity. Having said that, the movie is intense and the music plays a strong role. The violin concerto features heavily – some will find it melodramatic, but in my opinion, it's just Terence Davis! He does manage to recreate some lovely moments with music – such as singing and dancing in the pubs and in the underground bomb shelter scenes.

It isn't some sweeping love story set in wartime, but instead a very simplistic capture of a day in the life of the protagonist Lady Hester Collyer. It's funny, the movie gives a dimension to the written play, yet the play feels incomplete without the movie! It would be wrong to compare the two instead of on their own merits… but I have yet to make up my mind on how I feel about this movie. I think I shall have to let it simmer and see how it ages…


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