Film Review: The Deep Blue Sea [dir. Terence Davies; 2011]
The stately, almost staccato pace of some of Terence Davies’ films can make them difficult to watch; the technique occasionally feels like a none-too-subtle attempt to imbue scenes with an importance they might not otherwise possess. Fortunately, in The Deep Blue Sea, it works extremely well, helping to punctuate the shift between the past and the present, stave off sentimentality and reflect the main character’s state of mind. Set soon after the Second World War, this adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s play examines twenty-four hours in the life of Hester as she recovers from a failed suicide attempt and looks back on an ill-fated love affair with an RAF pilot. Rachel Weisz is mesmerising in the lead role – using an unusual accent and dreamy vocal delivery to suggest Hester’s leap into unconventionality – but Simon Russell Beale and Tom Hiddleston (a rising star, if ever there was one) are equally affecting. A moving, melancholy and quite beautiful piece of work.