The Deep Blue Sea (12A)

Film

Romance

Tom Hiddleston and Rachel Weisz in The Deep Blue Sea

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Oct 18 2011

This is Terence Davies’s first drama since ‘The House of Mirth’ in 2000. It’s an adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play about a middle-class woman, Hester (Rachel Weisz), who tries and fails to commit suicide in a London flat after leaving her kind but unpassionate husband, William (Simon Russell Beale), and being rejected by her volatile lover, ex-RAF pilot Freddie (Tom Hiddleston, also pictured). It’s a tragedy of romantic cul-de-sacs and a haunting exploration of the emotional glass ceiling that hung above many in 1950s Britain. It also harks back to Davies’s ‘Distant Voices, Still Lives’ and ‘The Long Day Closes’ in its jigsaw approach to time, sensitivity to the sights and sounds of post-war Britain and eye for domestic tragedy. There is  a hint, too, of the 1940s and ’50s British cinema that so inspires Davies and one scene has Weisz channelling Celia Johnson’s railway-platform moment in ‘Brief Encounter’.

Davies opens out Rattigan’s play beyond Hester’s fading flat and has written a superb scene which features Hester and William taking tea with his mother. ‘Will you be going to Wimbledon this year, mother?’ asks William – a judge at work but a mouse in her presence – not long before mother shoots at Hester: ‘Oh, you’ve put the milk in first!’ Pauses and absences hang horribly in the air.

Performances are strong: Russell Beale is excellent as William and Hiddleston convinces as infantile Freddie, a man reliving the war in his head. Weisz is good at conveying how Hester struggles in social situations, especially at pub and tube-platform sing-songs when Davies’s operatic side comes into play. Yet there’s something about ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ that feels studied and precious, a knock-on, perhaps, of the formality and emptiness of the relationships at its heart. It’s sad as a story and deeply evocative as a period piece, but it fails to take a grip on the heart in the same way that the very best of Davies’s films do.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Nov 25, 2011

Duration:

98 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|9
1 person listening
unsympathetic

It looked gorgeous and Tom Hiddleston is great as usual. But the central character is quite unsympathetic. Her actions are inexplicable at times - when she put his shoes on the table, it was sooooooooo annoying!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder he had to get out of there!

Robin Corona

Depressing and sad. Rachael was very interesting to watch, but the movie is plodding and depressing. the site

iain

A seriously naff comment here from someone called "Pahul" who says: "A tedious plodding story that is a killing zone for men but may be more for the ladies if they resonate to the angst of unrequited love." Sexism still rules, evidently. Makes me wonder what sort of men Pahul hangs out with. Doubtless hetero, and doubtless dull heteros at that.

iain

A seriously naff comment here from someone called "Pahul" who says: "A tedious plodding story that is a killing zone for men but may be more for the ladies if they resonate to the angst of unrequited love." Sexism still rules, evidently. Makes me wonder what sort of men Pahul hangs out with. Doubtless hetero, and doubtless dull heteros at that.

stevhors

Another adaptation of a stage play that falls to grasp the opportunities offered by cinema for pace and tension. Simon Russell Beale is fabulous but Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston fail to convince mainly due to the thespian dialogue which doesn't translate well to the cinema, the shouty scenes are particularly forced. Set dressing and costumes are fabulous though and really capture the 50s feel in dreary post war London. Would like to give 3 stars but only 2 on refelection.

Peter Ludbrook

I found this film gripping from the opening frames and was never bored by it. I thought the performances were splendid, particularly Simon Russell Beale's. The only part I felt didn't work was the ending. Hester's recovery from acute grief was much too pat and precipitate notwithstanding the superb shot of her framed in the window pulling the curtains whilst accompanied by Barber's marvellous Violin Concerto. Terrific in a way but unconvincing. I also wondered about the mysterious man who treats Hester after her suicide attempt who denies being a doctor and doesn't appear again. Subsequently I discovered that in the original play the man is a doctor who has been struck off for some unnamed misdemeanor. He plays a major part in the play and at the end is the person who persuades Hester that life is worth living. All of which sounds a lot more convincing than Davies' rewrite. I can't resist commenting on those who doubt that people did have sing-songs in pubs at that time. As a child at the time I have an abiding memory of my parents routinely going along on Saturday night for such an event. I wish that Davies had been less cavalier in his rewrite of the play, but having said that I found much to enjoy and admire in the film so I think 4 stars are in order.

Jools

Doomed passion and post-war gloom. Marvellous performances, especially the one people probably won't mention from Sir William. So slow at points, I began to drift off and wonder if I'd left the gas on back at home, but I always got sucked back in, Lovely

john o sullivan

Three great performances and Rattigans dialogue still works. But Davies reduces it to such a pedesrian pace i spent more time admiring the art design than engaging in the story Also found some of the scenes almost a pastiche of films of the era being envoked Did everyone sing in pubs the same song word and note perfect ? it dragged so badly at the end i felt like screaming give her a schilling please.

Pahul

A tedious plodding story that is a killing zone for men but may be more for the ladies if they resonate to the angst of unrequited love.The sound score at times was annoying Nesum Dorma like and whilst being using in sad moment I kept expecting a crescendo to arrive. Guys, make sure you have a good night's sleep before going if you want to stay awake.