Review of The Deep Blue Sea

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Rachel Weisz stars in this adaptation of the 1952 Terence Rattigan play, the same as the title name, centered around the wife of a Judge who engages in an affair with an RAF pilot. It's the early 1950s, and Hester Collyer (Weisz) has left her wealthy, older husband (Simon Russell Beale) to live with a younger man, World War II fighter pilot (Tom Hiddleston), in a rundown boarding house. Fearing her new partner is tiring of her, Hester attempts suicide.
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Movie Review: "The Deep Blue Sea"

--Rating: R (sexuality and nudity)
Length: 98 minutes
Release Date: November 25, 2011
Directed by: Terence Davies
Genre: Drama/ Romance

There are movies that move you, and there are movies that wrench you to your very soul. This movie is the latter. "The Deep Blue Sea" uses stark visuals and an ominous soundtrack to show the obtrusive and self-destructive relationship between the wife of a British judge and a pilot with the Royal Air Force.

Director Terence Davies is known for using visuals and music to craft a compelling story, and this master of emotion scores big. It's been five years since the end of World War II and the bombing of London, but the city streets and buildings still show the scars of a long-fought war. It's an appropriate backdrop for a story that was doomed from the moment the two lovers first kissed. The opening scene is of a street filled with debris, leading to the boarding house of Lady Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz) as she places quarters in the gas meter and anticipates her end by her own hand.

As she waits for the inevitable, her memories come flooding back, and her story begins for the audience. With this kind of foreshadowing, it's heart-wrenching to see how happy she was with her lover, Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), because we know the story has a tragic end. Hester is the wife of well-respected judge, Sir William Collyer (Simon Russel Beale), but he's a much older man, and their marriage has no passion. It's only when she is in Freddie's arms that she knows the true meaning of love. It's their brazenness and passion that is ultimately their demise.

Weisz is no stranger to difficult and emotional roles, and she tackles Hester with the vehemence of a veteran actress. She delivers her dialog in such a way that it makes you yearn for their love. Hiddleston's energy is off the charts in his role, and you can easily see how a young woman may have fallen for the dashing pilot. They are electric together and bring a realism that less professional actors couldn't pull off.

The real stars of the movie are the scenery and music. You can feel the oppression from the darkened hallways and rubbish-scattered streets. The city is a shell of its former self that is on the verge of reawakening and rebirth. It's the perfect metaphor for Hester, whose dreary and bland life finds meaning with the young pilot. Freddie is also a damaged individual. The war has left him as much a shell as the city they live in. He wallows away the hours drowning his misery in a bar and even takes out his frustrations on Hester.

Davies uses visualization to also show the complete and utter devotion the two lovers have to each other. Despite their many flaws, their love is absolute. The camera intertwines between them as if they were a single entity. When they make love, Davies makes the coloring of their bodies almost identical, so you have a difficult time knowing where one ends and the other begins.

Beale's character is a unique mix of middle-aged man and young adolescent. The audience learns that he has been raised by an overbearing and overprotective mother. This has kept him emotionally stunted, and he doesn't begin to break out of that shell until he marries Hester. He's the perfect foil for Freddie's regal and gallant pilot. While both are visually different from each other, you can tell that emotionally they are not that far apart. They both have turbulent emotions that Hester helps to temper. She brings the best out of both, but her heart belongs to Freddie.

The movie takes the drama and romance genre to a new level. Weisz definitely steals the show as Hester, and her pain and pleasure are felt by every person watching. She is trapped between two worlds, and since she is unable to come to grips with both, they crumble around her. It all culminates in a drab boarding house and the acrid scent of gas as it fills her lungs.

Davies has crafted a thrilling tale that few modern romances can capture. It's a harmonious mix of acting, scenery and music that comes together to create a symphony of artistic perfection. It makes you laugh as Hester feels the ultimate high with Freddie and cry as she embraces death because life doesn't seem worth living. "The Deep Blue Sea" plunges deep into your heart to help conjure up true feelings of love lost and gained.