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Rachel Weisz finds a nice, handsome RAF pilot to get it on with in this beautiful (and kinda dull) WWII melodrama....
Music Box / 98 Minutes / 2011 / Rated R / Street Date: July 24, 2012
There's a timelessness to the story at hand in The Deep Blue Sea, Terence Davies' new adaptation of the Terrence Rattigan play, but one can't help but wish there was more zip to the thing. There is a bit more heavy breathing and luscious sexuality to behold on screen here than there was in the 1955 version of the play with Vivian Leigh, but even Rachel Weisz's casual, loving stares don't help the movie gain much dramatic traction.
I mean, hold The Deep Blue Sea up to Todd Haynes' Mildred Pierce miniseries. Both entities have their crosshairs set on similar melodramatic territory, but Haynes' beast is no mere update of the Joan Crawford original - in recognizing the themes of greed and guilt and cultural sea change that were at the center of Michael Curtiz's film (and, more notably, James M. Cain's amazing novel), Mildred Pierce was able to concoct a retro vitality that was a wonder to behold. The Deep Blue Sea just feels like a well-made remake.
Our rapturous drama in The Deep Blue Sea surrounds Mrs. Hester Colliver (Weisz), a hot young thing who has found herself stuck in a life with a much older husband (Simon Russell Beale) and a libido that all but demands assistance from extra-marital sources. She finds release in this regard with a strapping young pilot (Tom Hiddleston), but hubby soon finds out about it, and things get... shaky.
The presentation of The Deep Blue Sea on Blu-ray is lovely - its WWII-era production design is top-of-the-line - but even with some reliable bodice-ripping sequences to help it along, the movie never gets off the ground. There are artists and filmmakers working with steady, well-worn craftsmanship here, but aside from a clear set of collective great expectations, The Deep Blue Sea plays like a really nicely-filmed version of a dull story.