“Interesting Love Story But Hard to Follow” 7/10
The Deep Blue Sea is a period romance focusing on Hester (Rachel Weisz), the wife of a judge who embarks on an affair with the reckless RAF pilot Freddie (Tom Hiddleston). However, overcome with a mixture of guilt and disappointment that her new life isn’t quite what she’d hoped, she makes a dramatic decision which has disastrous consequences for herself and her relationships.
This film has quite a poignant story – it focuses a lot on emotion and doubt which are highly relatable even outwith the situation of the story itself. The period setting gives it a somehow more romantic edge and it really is an interesting love story. You can’t help but understand the problems that Hester experiences with her troubled life, and the “grass is greener” feeling that draws her towards a seemingly more exciting life with Freddie. The story ebbs and flows in parallel with Hester’s feelings, and at times takes some dark turns. Despite the story being good, I felt really let down by the direction – the scenes constantly switch between present day and very recent flashbacks with little discerning detail as to which is which. I found myself lost at many points during the film, unable to work out where it was in the story and having to rely on the odd bit of choice dialogue that would reveal the time setting. This is sadly very off-putting and took away from the punch that the script would have had otherwise.
Despite the scene confusions, Weisz and Hiddleston offer a beautiful, if difficult, romance that is really set alive by the strengths of them as actors. Weisz is on top form with a powerful but vulnerable performance, and Hiddleston suits the role of the troubled romantic (his character in this reminded me a lot of his role in “Only Lovers Left Alive” (2014) in which he was incredible). There was also good performances from smaller characters, most notably Hester’s husband Sir William (Simon Russell Beale) who’s role was vulnerable and gentle, an opposite to the rival of his wife’s affections.
The Deep Blue Sea is quite a powerful and interesting love story, but sadly I felt that the possibility of this film being a great classic romance was tarnished somewhat by the lack of clarity in time shifts. Nevertheless, the story is good and it’s worth a watch for the excellent characters and script.