DEEP BLUE SEA (2012)
Close to Being an Uplifting Biblical Allegory. . . BUT NOT
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston,
Simon Russell Beale, Ann
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Distributor: Music Box Films
Director: Terence Davies
Executive Producer: Katherine Butler, Lisa Marie
Producer: Sean O’Connor, Kate Ogborn
Writer: Terence Davies
Address Comments To:William Schopf, President
Music Box Films
942 W. Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: (312) 492-9364
The movie opens with Hester closing the window shades of her apartment, penning a letter to her lover, Freddie, and turning on the gas in her apartment in order to commit suicide. As she closes her eyes and breathes in the fumes, she recalls the stifling feeling when she was married to and living with Sir William, a well-to-do judge nearly twice her age, as well as the insufferable relationship with her mother-in-law. Lying there, she remembers being swept off her feet by Freddie, a young, handsome pilot who makes her feel alive, emotionally and sexually. The physical attraction between the two of them is filled with passion and unbridled lust, which she believes is true love.
Ultimately, the landlord breaks into the apartment and rescues Hester before she dies. However, over the next several days, as she physically recovers, her world emotionally crumbles. While she tries to hide her suicide attempt from Freddie, the cracks in their relationship are revealed. He realizes he forgot her birthday, while she realizes he doesn’t value her in any way other than their physical connection. However, she refuses to believe that there is more to love than the physical connection.
[SPOILERS FOLLOW] Eventually, Freddie finds the suicide letter she left him. He storms out, never wanting to see her again.
Through all the ups-and-downs of her torrid and ultimately destructive love affair with Freddie, Sir William is there, steadfast and faithful. He arrives with a gift for Hester on her birthday. Sir William continually offers her comfort and solace when she has nowhere else to turn. He implores her to return home with him because he is willing to both forgive her and to restore their marriage. Tragically, she refuses Sir William’s true love. Instead, she looks at Freddie’s departure as an opportunity for her to set out into the world alone. As she reopens the curtains of her apartment, she looks at the world with a new confidence, a confidence that leaves her, tragically, alone and unchanged.
THE DEEP BLUE SEA is really close to being an emotionally satisfying, dramatic journey. Adapted from a stage play, the story gives plenty of room for the lead actors to deliver good performances, which they do. Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston embody all the angst and passion of Hester and Freddie’s affair. Simon Russell Beale, as Sir William, is outstanding. The movie falls short of being emotionally and spiritually satisfying, however, because of the moral tragedy in Hester’s final decision. Even as her lover leaves her alone in a heap on the floor, and her husband stands by ready to restore her as his wife, Hester makes a tragic decision to continue alone.
The movie focuses on Hester’s story, but there’s a Biblical allegory of Sir William’s faithfulness to his wife even amidst her wanderings. This will remind media-wise viewers of God’s steadfast love as His people wander far from Him. While that may not be the intent of the playwright or the production team, as evidenced by their choice in endings, it ultimately makes the movie unfulfilling.
Apart from missing the emotional and spiritual mark, THE DEEP BLUE SEA a very strong, mixed Romantic worldview, some explicit sexuality, brief and partial nudity, some foul language, drunkenness, cigarette smoking, and mild violence. Overall, it’s the immoral ending that finally makes this movie unacceptable viewing, with a Minus Three Acceptability Rating.
THE DEEP BLUE SEA is adapted from a play by Terence Rattigan. It gives plenty of room for the lead actors to deliver good performances. The movie comes close to being completely satisfying dramatically. However, Hester bases her final decision on her emotions rather than morality, and Sir William’s faithfulness and love don’t change her mind. Thus, the ending is ultimately tragic and unsatisfying. It promotes a very strong Romantic worldview, where people follow their lustful hearts, not God’s Will. THE DEEP BLUE SEA also contains some explicit sensuality, partial nudity, drunkenness, and light violence. Overall, media-wise viewers will find it unacceptable, disappointing viewing.