The Deep Blue Sea
In post-War England, Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz) lives with her upper-class husband, Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale), a judge. She might have all the things that money can buy that she needs, but what's missing in her life is priceless: love and passion. When she meets Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), an Air Force pilot, she begins a steamy affair with him while realizing how much she loves him instead of her husband. If only leaving her husband for him were so simple and easy, both physically and mentally.
Adapted from Terrence Rattigan's 1952 play, the screenplay by writer/director Terence Davies doesn't seem to translate very well from the stage to the big screen. Much of the film is told via flashback scenes as Hester recalls her love affair as she writes a suicide note to her lover, Freddie. The dialogue, while very eloquent and even beautiful at times, comes across as stilted and awkward which leads you to feel emotionally detached instead of absorbed by the events that transpire to Hester. You begin to wonder if the use of flashbacks were truly necessary because the more they're used here, the more they feel like a gimmick that distract even more from the film's momentum.
On a positive note, Rachel Weisz gives a brave, convincingly moving performance that helps to keep you at least marginally engrossed although not enough for you to shed any tears even during the very tragic events. Had the screenplay not left you feeling so cold, perhaps you would have able to feel the palpable pain, passion and frustration that Hester goes through. Moreover, it's also worth mentioning the exquisite set and costume designs as well as Davies' use of lighting, or, in some cases, lack thereof, which adds a few layers of richness to the film. Many scenes could be paused and studied for their composition, lighting, color and other aesthetics by film students, so there's no denying that The Deep Blue Sea has style. If only it were to have some substance as well, it would have been a much more powerful rather than underwhelming experience.