On any given week 30 years in the past, amongst all the various comedies and motion movies at your native multiplex, you had been assured to seek out a minimum of one erotic thriller. Within the days earlier than Hollywood went all in on endlessly renewable IP, certainly one of American films’ most bankable ideas was tossing two extraordinarily enticing folks collectively in a narrative with a bunch of violence and slightly R-rated nudity. In the present day, mainstream American films are about as sexless as they’ve ever been because the days of the Hays Code. When these types of movies are made in any respect, they bypass theaters and go straight to streaming.
That’s what’s occurred with Deep Water even if its two very enticing stars, Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas, spent a lot of 2021 in a high-profile relationship, and the movie was directed by Adrian Lyne, the person who made a number of of probably the most profitable erotic thrillers together with Deadly Attraction and 9 1/2 Weeks. Even with these built-in publicity hooks, Deep Water nonetheless sat on a shelf for over a 12 months and a half and is now debuting on Hulu. The outcomes made me nostalgic for a time when films about adults in frank conditions felt much less like a novelty, even when Deep Water itself is just not on par with Lyne’s most well-known movies.
Perhaps the fabric’s slightly too elegant? Deep Water is predicated on a novel by Patricia Highsmith a couple of troubled married couple. Within the movie, they’re Vic (Affleck) and Melinda (de Armas), who reside in New Orleans with their younger daughter. Because the movie begins, Vic and Melinda are actually solely “collectively” within the authorized sense; they share the identical home, however not the identical bed room, and after they attend events with their well-to-do buddies, she tends to discover a younger man to flirt with — or do much more than flirt — whereas he mopes about from the fringes, leering at his spouse’s drunken exploits along with her newest beau.
Snippets of dialogue make it clear that this habits has been happening for a while. It additionally reveals that certainly one of Melinda’s “buddies” went lacking not too lengthy earlier than the occasions of Deep Water, and that Vic likes to joke that he killed him. Then the lacking man’s lifeless physique reveals up, and Vic’s quips about bludgeoning somebody to dying with a hammer seem to be much less of a laughing matter. Nonetheless, none of his threats or intimidation appear to do something to cease Melinda from persevering with to carouse with a string of good-looking males.
As Deep Water unfolds, and as Lyne reveals extra of Vic and Melinda’s relationship, the much less it looks like a easy case of a wedding that’s grown chilly. There are hints that Melinda’s dishonest is a part of a recreation she performs with Vic, and that possibly he even will get off on it. Definitely, Affleck and de Armas have sufficient intercourse scenes in Deep Water to fulfill viewers who’re interested by their onscreen connection following all their weirdly endearing paparazzi photographs from the early days of the pandemic. They usually actually have chemistry collectively. It could be unconventional and barely disturbing chemistry, but it surely’s there.
However it’s additionally one of many solely issues Deep Water actually explores in any depth. Lyne reveals us an increasing number of of Vic and Melinda’s connection, however neither character actually adjustments over the course of this sordid story of jealousy and lust. Whilst Affleck and de Armas pepper Deep Water with intimate moments, it in any other case stays a reasonably repetitive cycle of Melinda dishonest, Vic seething, a confrontation, after which all the pieces beginning over once more. Vic made a lot cash promoting pc chips to the army that he retired younger; he doesn’t have something to do besides preserve tabs on his spouse’s scandalous two-timing and deal with his assortment of snails — sure, reside snails — that are largely current in order that Affleck can use them as a helpful metaphor about monogamy or mankind’s animalistic nature.
Vic is a strong function for Affleck. He’s already confirmed in Gone Lady that he’s good at taking part in emotionally opaque and doubtlessly violent husbands, and Deep Water lets him flex lots of the identical muscle groups once more. De Armas would be the single most lovely girl working in Hollywood films proper now, however the a part of Melinda does her much less favors. Her character appears so oblivious to the warning indicators round her, and so uninvested in her marriage. Later scenes do give us slightly perception into Melinda’s ambiguous motivations however not sufficient; you retain ready for some type of reckoning that may make it clear precisely what’s at stake between this husband and spouse. However it by no means actually occurs.
Unhealthy puns however, there’s something refreshing about Deep Water. If it had come out in 1992, there would have been so many different, higher films prefer it, that it might have seemed actually poor. In 2022, movies of this ilk are so uncommon, that I can virtually forgive the Deep Water’s faults only for reminding me that these types of tales can be advised onscreen. Nearly.
-Tracy Letts has a small however very amusing function as an writer who’s the one particular person in Vic’s social circle who thinks he is perhaps a assassin. Whereas the remainder of Deep Water is performed very severely, Letts takes his character in a looser, campier course — one which actually would have suited the outdated Lyne movies, which had been extra emotional rollercoasters than this one. He may not fairly match with the remainder of Deep Water, however he livens it up anyway.
-Ben Affleck doesn’t have an important monitor report in relation to films he makes together with his real-life romantic companions. True, he starred in Shakespeare in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow, and that was successful and an Oscar winner. However then he made a crummy Daredevil with future spouse Jennifer Garner, and the disastrous one-two punch of Gigli and Jersey Lady with Jennifer Lopez. Deep Water is, a minimum of, so much higher than these flops.
Actors Who Bought Caught Mendacity in Interviews
Watch out what you say in an interview — it may come again to hang-out you.