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When Margaret Hall (Tilda Swinton) discovers the dead body of her son's gay lover Darby, she immediately assumes her son, Beau, was the killer and tries to protect him by disposing of the corpse in the lake. A man named Spera (Goran Visnjic) then arrives at Margaret's home and attempts to blackmail her with video footage of Beau and Darby making love. Margaret tries and fails to raise the money, and the sympathetic Spera says he will try to persuade his partner Nagle to accept a delayed payment. Nagle, however, is determined to push things through to their bitter conclusion. Based on the novel 'The Blank Wall' by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding, which had previously been adapted for the screen by Max Ophuls under the title 'The Reckless Moment' (1949).
A tense tale of menace, murder and redemption, The Deep End is a film that sets itself high and stylish standards but ultimately fails to meet them all. Set in a sleepy American lakeside town, it traces the sudden and rapid disintegration of the life of Margaret Hall, a devoted mother who discovers her son is having an affair with a seedy older man Darby Reese (played by the suitably sleazy Josh Lucas). Matters take a turn for the worse when, after Reese's death, she finds herself the victim of a blackmail plot. With her husband away at sea, it falls to her alone to keep the family safe from harm. Salvation comes in the unlikely form of Alex (ER regular Goran Visnjic), her blackmailer, who develops a close and unexpected bond with his intended victim.
Tilda Swinton dominates proceedings as the increasingly desperate Margaret, although her relationship with Visnijc stretches the boundaries of credibility just a little too far. The direction is self-consciously showy, jumping at every opportunity for a clever shot. Although it isn't half the film that it thinks it is, The Deep End is still capable of holding the viewer's interest for its modest duration.
On the DVD: The Deep End disc, in an annoying throwback to the days of video, opens straight into a series of trailers for forthcoming attractions. Once the menu itself appears there is a distinct lack of inventiveness and thought. The interactive features offer a choice of subtitles and scene selection. Picture and soundwise, the lush, deep shots of the lakeside location work well in the digital format and the subtle, suspense-building score is clear and crisp. --Phil Udell
This is a pretty good thriller. I really liked the main protagonist's performance. The plot has some good twists and turning points. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
Because I find Tilda Swinton a great actress, I was disappointed in the movie in generalPublished 13 months ago by tina yorston
This film is extremely dark but Tilda Swinton is superb. Her portrayal of a mother trying to protect her son and family from circumstances that just keeps spiralling out of... Read morePublished 18 months ago by peter warrington
This film tackles a subject many parents dread facing - having a gay child. Gripping from start to finish. Top-notch acting and a brave effort that could have failed miserably. Read morePublished on 3 Sept. 2013 by Beware!