On a whim, as I was leaving the Plaza Hotel after another delightful brunch at the Oak Room, I saw The Deep Blue Sea was showing at my favorite movie theater The Paris, and decided to buy a ticket as the next showing was in 15 minutes.
Going down the steep stairs to the concession stand, to get a bottle of water, I had to decline the purchase of a Dasani 12 oz plastic bottle of water for $4.50, and climbed the steep stairs back to the theater level.
Handing the usher my ticket, he surprised me by informing me that I can sit anywhere. Upon entering the theatre I was the 2nd person to have a choice of seats. With only about 30 people watching the movie, everybody managed to have a nice seat allowing each some precious personal space.
I knew I was thirsty and in trouble when the movie started with its opening scene – This is a mood picture, a very slowly–too slowly–paced film, over-artistically filmed in soft focus and very very darkly lit rooms and streets, wildly over-exaggerated by featuring Samuel Barber’s violin concerto pulling, tugging, and ripping at your heart strings, which starts at the very beginning of the black screen with titles scrolling before it goes to the first shots that start on the street and move up and to the window of the modest rented apartment (or flat as it is called in England) of Hester Collyer (Weisz), with her shadowy silhouette behind the lace curtained window.
The music – the violin concerto – a beautiful piece of music – creates the expectation of something great to come. BUT SADLY DOES NOT.
That opening shot lasted almost 5 minutes – only to then pan to Hester’s face for another few minutes with the ticking of a clock in 1950 London, it seems F-O-R-E-V-E-R before the camera pans to her F-I-N-A-L-L-Y some action – writing a letter to her lover Freddie (Tom Hiddleston) telling him that she is very serious about committing suicide this time – SERIOUSLY, SHE WRITES THIS IN A LETTER! – and then the first time we hear her voice: “This time I really do want to die.” After about another 5 minutes of silence and of her sitting and staring at nothing in particular.
We watch as she drinks a handful of aspirins and then turns on the gas and waits for her misery to end. WHICH IT DOES NOT.
I settled further into my seat, (Did I mention the seats are extremely comfortoble at The Paris?) and after about 15 minutes was fast asleep. In a 98 minute movie I enjoyed a few snooze attacks and yet managed to get the general idea of the movie, which was not difficult – I can assure you.
I am not going to pass comment, except to say that it was perhaps too “intellectual” for me. The Deep Blue Sea is a film one feels bad trashing as is seems to hold such promise.
Simon Russell Beale makes one feel like slapping him, he is too ?? – bland perhaps? Tom Hiddleston somehow is not as magnetic as I thought of him before and Rachel Weisz a whif of her former self.
And as for the dialogue – oh my goodness – really? They still write scripts today with that kind of simplistic and idiotic sense of speak?
Tom Hiddleston’s (Freddy) Pièce de résistance in his charming british accent to Rachel Weisz (Hester): “You are the most attractive woman I have ever seen. Really I mean it.” – Attractive? WHO uses “attractive” to charm a woman ??
And then Rachel Weisz’ voice over: “I knew in that tiny moment that I had no power to resist him. No power at all.” – Ugh – I pressed the snooze button again.
You might be wondering why I did not leave the theatre if it was so boring? Being the eternal optimist that I am, I was hoping that there might be a pony somewhere, somehow.
“The Deep Blue Sea” – with its long pauses and endless scene setting moods, create a good deal of dead air, which lead directly to dullness and boredom, which brings me to think they might want to consider changing the title to THE DEEP BLUE SNOOZE.