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The Deep Blue Sea DVD

Terence Davies, 2011


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Film Details

Directed by Terence Davies

Produced in 2011

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film, American film

MovieMail's Review

Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston star in this study of forbidden love and suppressed desire in postwar Britain. It confirms Davies’ status as a master of cinema, says Alex Davidson.

One of the cinema highlights of last year was the eagerly-awaited return to fiction filmmaking of one of Britain’s greatest (and most underrated) living talent. From his remarkable, autobiographical portraits Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, to Of Time and the City, his haunting eulogy to Liverpool, Terence Davies stands as a unique voice in British - and international - cinema. After years in the lack-of-funding wilderness, he has returned to re-imagine an established stage classic and turned it into pure cinema.

Set ‘around 1950’, the film shows the fate of Hester (Rachel Weisz), a married woman who leaves her dull but loving husband (Simon Russell Beale) for a younger man (Tom Hiddleston). The film opens after her failed suicide attempt, and follows its effects on both men, as well as flashing back to the beginnings of the affair. Caught between a passionless but safe marriage and an insecure, exciting relationship, a dilemma summed up by the title, Hester must decide whether to give up on life - or try and survive.

Weisz gives an excellent performance as the complex protagonist. Although her character may not be completely sympathetic - an argument could be made that Hester is sometimes selfish, melodramatic and borderline masochistic - the actress makes the audience care for the (anti-)heroine with a subtle portrayal of unfulfilled passion. Hiddleston, one of the most exciting young actors of the moment, impresses as the charismatic but unreliable Freddie. Beale, better known as a stage actor, bring poignancy and dignity to his role as the cuckolded husband.

There are so many beautiful moments in this film - the opening tracking shot to Hester’s shabby flat, the ironically joyous pub sing-a-long as she tries to reach her lover, the unforgettable scene in the disused underground shelter - that confirm Davies’ status as a master of cinema. Deftly avoiding the trap of relying too heavily of Terence Rattigan’s original dialogue, which could have made some of the scenes appear stagy, Davies uses the language of film to convey his characters’ emotions - the final sequence, in which barely a word is spoken, is simply stunning.

Alex Davidson on 3rd April 2012
Author of 238 reviews

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Film Description

Based on the Terence Rattigan play of the same name, The Deep Blue Sea is a study of forbidden love, suppressed desire, and the fear of loneliness in postwar Britain. At its heart it is also a deeply moving love story.

Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz) is married to a judge (Simon Russell Beale), and enjoys all the material comfort and social privilege that goes with such a role in 1950s England. However, when she meets Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), a dashing young RAF pilot, Hester's world is turned upside down. She falls in love with Freddie and leaves her husband and her comfortable, if unexciting, life behind for him. Will Freddie prove himself worthy of such devotion?

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Publisher: Artificial Eye

Length: 98 mins

Format: DVD Colour

Region: 2

Released: 2nd April 2012

Cat No: ART583DVD

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