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The Deep Blue Sea  [DVD]
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Hester Collyer (Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz) leads a privileged life in 1950s London as the beautiful wife of high court judge Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale). To the shock of those around her, she walks out on her marriage to move in with young ex-RAF pilot, Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), with whom she has fallen passionately in love. Set in post-war Britain, this adaptation of Terence Rattigan s classic play, The Deep Blue Sea is a study of forbidden love, suppressed desire, and the fear of loneliness but is at heart a deeply moving love story. Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, what - or whom - should Hester choose?
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Top Customer Reviews
Davies clearly has a festishistic love for post-war 1950s Britain; the drab and the gloom is lovingly shot. The dinginess means that Davies can pull Brief-Encounter moments, where the adulterous couple Hester (Rachel Weisz) and Freddie (Tom Hiddleston) illicitly steal kisses on the street. I enjoyed the pub songs; in particular a scene that cuts from a pub singing along to a romantic song from that era to Freddie and Hester dancing to a lush record of it. The daze and excitement of the affair is captured nicely.
The sense of a society still recovering from the war and still living off ration books is integral to the play so in that respect Davies is well-suited. However it's the story that gets a bit lost; as does the viewer. In order to escape its stage origins (the play takes place over the course of a night with the action set solely in the living room), Davies uses lots of flashbacks. So whilst in the play, we only find out that Freddie is not Hester's husband, as she has been pretending, but her lover, in the film it's clear from the start. They later include a dramatisation of a scene mentioned in the play, in which their landlady discovers the deception, but it seemed a bit pointless.Read more ›
As with most of his films, the story isn't told via a linear narrative but instead unfolds via a thread of interconnected memories and is told entirely from the point of view of Hester, the main female character. She is a woman of around 40, married to an older man of wealth, status and culture, who suddenly discovers what it is to fall passionately in love. She leaves her husband only to find that her new relationship has its own limitations.
Her new partner, a former Battle of Britain pilot, is a man of action who is a fish out of water in the art galleries that Hester enjoys visiting. He is struggling to find a place in post-war society and so after being used to a life of luxury she finds herself living in a shabby boarding house. Whereas her older husband accommodated and indulged her, her new younger partner expects to be the one accommodated and indulged. In effect, there is a role reversal which eventually pushes Hester to grow up.
The actors all give wonderful performances. Rachel Weisz won or was nominated for numerous awards for hers and Tom Hiddleston is very good as her ex-pilot lover. The stand out though is Simon Russell Beale as Hester's husband. He is gentle, pompous, vulnerable, conventional, loyal... as real a person as I've seen on film. His attempts to win Hester back - sensitive and at the same time clumsy - are heartbreaking.Read more ›
Whilst his previous classics concern the working classes, here we have a more up market clientele to view.
It doesn’t stop Davies from revisiting his working class roots - in the pubs that are full of song, woodbines and pints of mild. Then it’s down to the underground communities, away from the doodle bugs. These are rather surprising reoccurring themes even though they are of course immensely atmospheric.
The acting here is outstanding. Weisz won a Golden Globe, but equally as good were: Simon Russell Beale (now doing so well in ‘The Father,’ in the West End) and Tom Hiddlestone as the suave bounder. Even Anne Mitchell was just brilliant as the archetypal ‘Blighty’ landlady.
This is a tale of emotional pain from all sides and most definitely an art form of writing and acting. I thought it a compelling and visually beautiful to watch.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I hope this film will be first of a revival of Terence Rattigan's work. Beautiful plays and films; a wonderful insight into the drama of peoples everyday lives Rattigan wrote... Read morePublished 17 days ago by S.M. Johnson
Great storyline, beautiful 1940's clothing and wonderfully authentic settings. Definitely worth a watch.Published 18 days ago by Joy
Very disappointing. Like another reviewer, I "discovered" TH and wanted to see some of previous work. Read morePublished 1 month ago by K8P
Wonderful performances! Great acting in a very moving and emotional drama.Published 3 months ago by JuliaRooney
I have seen this film more than once, and the first time I saw it, I was extremely pleased. The movie contains so many emotions. The acting was absolutely brilliant. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Meryl
A great adaptation of the play. It is very well acted, with a great performance from Rachel Weiz.Published 5 months ago by Mr. V. A. Griffin