Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Mini Film Review: The Deep Blue Sea

Image result for deep blue sea 2011The Deep Blue Sea is the 2011 film adaptation of the 1952 Terence Rattigan play. On the surface, this is a gloomy but now conventional story following the aftermath of bored housewife Hester, played by Rachel Weisz, deserting her husband for a man who will never love her. The dull husband, played by Simon Beale, has a decency which forces us to challenge Hester’s decision, but the film’s real power flows from the heroine’s tragic insight – she knows the romance will fail from the very beginning.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film is its bleak depiction of post-war London. Attention focuses on the working class squalor of bombed out London, which gels perfectly if starkly with the film’s darker themes; however, the scenes in London pubs, each one a rowdy, drinking choir, reminds us of what was lost when jukeboxes and televisions became pub fixtures. Much maligned karaoke nights may be a snugger fit within the British social landscape than we usually imagine. Hester’s naive ecstasy when trying to join the singing without knowing the words is exceptionally moving.

In an important departure from the play, Hester finds no solace in new friendship, so the hope she needs to carry on must come from an inspiring but uneasy leap of faith that life may still be worth living. During the first few minutes of this slow-burning and sometimes painful story, a similar degree of faith may be needed by the viewer – but such faith is well rewarded.

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