Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Obsessed (And Repressed), 20 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Deep Blue Sea [2011] [DVD] (DVD)
This 2011 Terence Davies adaption of Terence Rattigan's play of the same name is another beautifully crafted, well-acted and emotionally engaging piece of work from one of the UK's finest film-makers and, although, for me, it does not quite rank with Davies' best work, it is nevertheless a film well worth seeing (certainly for anyone interested in Davies' work). In keeping with much (probably all, actually) of Davies' work, The Deep Blue Sea is a slow-moving, deeply felt and evocative slice of cinema, set during Davies' favourite era, 1950s post-war Britain and telling the tale, against a backdrop of 'repressed Englishness', of Rachel Weisz's Hester Collyer, her broken marriage to Simon Russell Beale's upstanding member of the judiciary, Sir William Collyer, and her obsessive, doomed love for Tom Hiddleston's war pilot, Freddie Page.

In trademark fashion, Davies' film opens with a sublime piece of cinematic poetry as cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister's camera pans slowly across a street (with Hester peering through a window) to the sumptuous, tremulous sounds of Barber's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Thereafter, this haunting, maudlin melody is repeated at key points in Davies' tale, whilst Hoffmeister's camera evokes the era with slow pans, lingering close-ups and hypnotic revolves (a brilliant example of the latter, dwelling on Hester and Freddie's naked, intertwined bodies), and taking in (trademark Davies) pub singalongs, the London tube (in flashback) during the blitz and ancient milk floats.

Acting-wise, Davies' cast is pretty much flawless. Weisz is excellent as the insular and (irrationally) infatuated lover, as is Hiddleston as the flighty, inflammable Freddie, detached from Hester's emotional trauma, and suffering (FUBAR) in the wake of his war-time exploits. In addition, Davies uses his remaining cast members to memorably depict this era of self-deluded Puritanism and repressed emotion. Russell Beale is superb as the 'emotionless', but ultimately caring, William, a man hen-pecked not by his wife but rather his mother, an officious Barbara Jefford (who quips to Hester, 'beware of passion, it always leads to something ugly'). Hester (perhaps understandably) receives no respite from her father, Oliver Ford Davies' priest, who, in relation to his daughter's cuckolded husband, scolds, 'Your first loyalty is to him'. Interestingly, Davies depicts increasingly depressed (and suicidal) Hester receiving the most sympathetic hearing from his 'working class' (rather than 'professional') characters, Ann Mitchell's pragmatic landlady, Mrs Elton and Karl Johnson's 'philanthropist', Mr Miller.

Ultimately, although there is much to admire in Davies' subtle and reflective tale, I found it a little too one-paced and, indeed, one-track (narrative-wise) to be entirely successful. I think to a large extent this is because of the high esteem in which I hold Davies' greatest works, for me, the superior (and similar) tale of a woman's disintegration in House Of Mirth (with Gillian Anderson's, frankly, unsurpassable performance) and the infectious poignancy of The Long Day Closes. Nevertheless, The Deep Blue Sea is another beautiful, mostly mesmerising, piece of cinema and worthy of its place in Davies' body of work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.4 out of 5 stars (51 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
15.99 6.99
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Keith M
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Top Reviewer Ranking: 562