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The Deep Blue Sea

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Ann Mitchell
Director: Terence Davies

Have you heard of the idiom "between the devil and the deep blue sea?" Well, I didn't, until I saw this film. What is something so simple turns out to have a lot of depth, although shown in some subtle and unsubtle tones. It's what the main character goes through, when she has to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. However, as problematic as she sounds, being an optimist, I don't think the film was aptly to be titled as such.

The Deep Blue Sea happens in the span of three days, when Hester, the ex-wife of a judge has just attempted to commit suicide. As the events of the day unfold, flashbacks of her past, particularly of her affair and relationship with war soldier Freddie Page meet us, and we see how her life has completely changed. We also get to see how her relationship was with her husband, and how the present day events changes their perspectives. 

Hester is a woman that we've all seen in the movies; the closest fictional women I could think that closely resembles her situation are both played by the same actress: Michelle Williams. Hester is looking for something in her life, but doesn't know what it is. Instead of finding the answers for herself, she allows herself to be swept away by someone who can give her any answer, even if it's not what she is looking for. Here she is faced with two factors: stability and security, and passion. Security will always be there, but it's a lackluster life she must live if she chooses it. However, passion keeps her alive, and yet it will wane when there is nothing else that holds them together. It does look like she wants both in her life, but how can she be sure that it's what she wants if she doesn't even know what she's looking for? Instead it falls that she is just given these two things to choose from, embodied through two people willing to give it to her. Hester might seem to be a complicated character but she's not. She's just unsure of what she is, and with the limited background we have on her, there's really not much to infer on the character except that she is emotionally lost. 

Rachel Weisz gave a believable performance as the confused and lonely Hester. She was able to switch from one emotion to the next, and she was able to portray who Hester really was: a lost soul looking for something to cling on to. Her character is flawed and seems non-confrontational, as there were moments in the film that could be solved by striking a conversation, but instead she allows herself to just be taken away by the actions of those around her. Weisz held her character with such baggage that she was able to express many emotions as the events shift from passionate to downright calm. Of course she was able to bring the intensity of her character with the help of her two leading men. 

I found some of the scenes to be idiotic, and yet it says so much about Hester and her relationships. The way she became off-guard to her hidden secret, like wanting to be found out so she could end one misery and enter what she thinks is a new life of bliss. Then when she figures out that she was in a substance-less relationship, arguing with whom she thought had a brain of a child and that it was war that made him charismatic. The score used was haunting. It provided the atmosphere that the film was going for, and it was used for great build up and transitions, from the present to the past. 

The part that was hauntingly beautiful and has the most impact is at the final scene, particularly with the ambiguous ending. It can be interpreted in many ways, how it can be that there's freedom, and yet it can be interpreted as she has succumbed to her dilemma since she doesn't know what she wants. This is why I thought that the title doesn't seem to be apt to the movie. It may be irony working, which is why it's entitled that way, but literally speaking, it doesn't seem fit. She made it seem like she has no choice but only the two, but really there is a secret option. Get out of it unscathed. Because really, who is worth it killing yourself for? It's definitely not for the greater good, nor defending nor being nationalistic. What she did was selfish, because she was not the confrontational type. She wanted to take the easy way out, the way out that won't require her to think, or recuperate. How would she know if she wouldn't look for herself? I think that she was a character that wasn't built to be independent, but rather live in a co-dependency on people she's with, even if she doesn't agree with them. But who am I to argue? This was based on a play, so the source material may slightly differ from the adaptation. 

While it seems that the film is just about basic unhappiness, or loneliness, there was more to the female character that meets the eye. It makes you think at the end, on whether or not she was right, or how do you want to see it to end, or how she constructed her life to be as such. Nevertheless, it featured a great performance by a brilliant actress accompanied by a mood-setting score. It doesn't make you wonder at the beginning, but rather leaves you thinking about it after it ends.

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