The Deep Blue Sea

Directed By: Terence Davies

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale

"Sometimes, it's tough to judge when you're caught between the devil and the deep blue sea."
-Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz)

Love is the most powerful force on Earth.  It can be the best and worst part of life.  It can give you a euphoria you've never known, or it can just as easily put you through a hell that clouds your judgment.  This is the case for Hester Collyer when she tries to commit suicide in Terence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea.

It's around 1950.  Hester is married to Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale), but she's found a deeper, more profound love with Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston).  Fast forward ten months, and we find a different Hester.  Separated from her husband William, Hester now lives with Freddie in a passionate yet lethal relationship.  It's so lethal that Hester tries to commit suicide when Freddie forgets her birthday.  When Freddie finds out, their relationship goes into a destructive tailspin.  In the aftermath of the suicide attempt, William is determined to get back with his wife whom he's still not divorced for her affair with Freddie.

Together, Weisz and Hiddleston share an enchanting yet caustic chemistry on screen in The Deep Blue Sea.  As Hester Collyer, Rachel Weisz gives a restrained performance that's both perfectly understated and subtly beautiful.  With a single glance she can convey a deep sadness that gives the audience a peek inside her character's soul and an understanding of the dangerous side of love.  As Freddie Page, Tom Hiddleston gives a fiery performance that highlights an even darker side of love.  His performance helps catapult their relationship into a downward spiral in the aftermath of Hester's suicide attempt. 

Beyond the impressive performances by the stars, Terence Davies makes some great decisions behind the camera in The Deep Blue Sea.  He makes an intelligent film that doesn't spoon-feed the story to its audience.  With a majestic score, Davies builds a bright tone that underscores the euphoric side of love when Hester and Freddie share a deep passionate love with one another.  With bleak cinematography and darker musical selections, he then builds a somber tone that conversely underscores the hellacious side of love when their relationship is on the rocks.  This is intelligent filmmaking at its best.

The Deep Blue Sea is a touching romance fueled by brilliant performances and smart filmmaking.  To borrow a phrase from Hiddleston's Freddie, the romance here is FUBAR (fucked up beyond all recognition).  Relationships like this make for the best romantic films.  The only problem is that there are a few lulls in the film.  In those moments, I had to grab some wine coolers.  For that The Deep Blue Sea gets a 0.03% rating.