Deep Water centres around a very strange couple.
Vic (Ben Affleck – Zack Snyder’s Justice League) allows his wife, Melinda (Ana de Armas – Blade Runner 2049), to have affairs with other men in a bid to ensure a divorce doesn’t happen, but unless it was going to cost him a fortune, it’s an unwise thing to do and doesn’t really make sense. All their friends can see what’s going on, and surely they could come to a financial agreement for a divorce? It’s certainly not healthy to be in their current situation.
Early on, he Calmy tells her latest beau Joel (Brendan Miller), that he killed the last one… or is he joking? Well, that’s the mystery, since either way, anyone with whom she does end up between the sheets starts turning up brown bread. So, who did the deed? Well, you’ll have to watch it to find out.
However, it takes about an hour before any part of the ‘murder mystery’ starts happening, and I can’t think of any couple that would behave like this. It’s like one of those early ’90s thrillers, which were trying to copy the heady days of the ’80s thrillers (like Lyne’s own Fatal Attraction), and ended up falling flat on their naked body parts. And with Deep Water, it feels like we’ve been stuck in the early ’90s for 30 years, so it feels very, very tired. In fact, when Sharon Stone’s Sliver tried to capitalise on her cachet from the previous year’s Basic Instinct, the disappointment felt was similar. And that’s before we even got to 2006’s Basic Instinct 2.
Their daughter, Trixie, can’t quite get a handle on why her mum flaunts affairs around the house.. understandably. That would be the first sign that once all this is over, she’d be better off with a foster family, away from this odd couple.
Vic also seems to have a strange thing about snails, as he keeps them in a dedicated area outside. I’m not sure why anyone would do that, but it’s a mere footnote in the screenplay. Maybe it’s expanded upon better in the book, but here, it just drags the film out.
Affleck doesn’t have many facial expressions for anything, so he made for a decent Batman, but despite his situation here, he barely seems even mildly fazed. He has the same expression for “My wife is having sex with other men” as he does for “The gas bill just arrived”. He might only get in a tizzy if he received an email that said, “Your parcel will be delivered by Hermes”.
For Ms de Armas, her character is either acting calm or behaving like a very jealous individual, thus coming across as a bit unhinged.
Deep Water is the first directorial role for Adrian Lyne since 2002’s Unfaithful, which I haven’t seen but I see from the description was also about adultery. I know it didn’t exactly set the box office alight. Had this one gone to cinemas, I expect the same would’ve happened. In fact, I’m not sure how else you could improve this, given how ridiculous the premise is.
I could also ask about this film, since he’s from California, and she’s from Cuba, how they come they have a half-Japanese daughter? Well, that potential plotline was left unchallenged.
There’s also a mid-credits scene, and something at the end of the credits. Neither are plot spoilers, but I’ll put them behind a spoiler header for anyone who wants to view them without knowing in advance.
Thanks to our friends at Prime Video for the screener prior to release.
Deep Water is on Amazon Prime Video from Friday March 18th, but the film isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 115 minutes
Release date: March 18th 2022
Studio: Amazon Prime Video
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K))
Director: Adrian Lyne
Producers: Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Anthony Katagas, Arnon Milchan, Steven Zaillian
Novel: Patricia Highsmith
Screenplay: Sam Levinson, Zach Helm
Vic Van Allen: Ben Affleck
Melinda Van Allen: Ana de Armas
Lionel: Tracy Letts
Maggie: Rachel Blanchard
Nash: Lil Rel Howery
Tony: Finn Wittrock
Charlie De Lisle: Jacob Elordi
Arthur: Dash Mihok
Jackie: Kristen Connolly
Evelyn Cowan: Jade Fernandez
Jeff Peterson: Michael Braun
Kevin Washington: Michael Scialabba
Mary Washington: Devyn A Tyler
Joel Nash: Brendan Miller
Trixie Van Allen: Grace Jenkins
Rob Thomas: Jaren Mitchell
Daughter: Goldie Lowe
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.