Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Deep Blue Sea Battles an Ocean of Emotions in Order to Convey the Pain and Heartbreak of the Reality of War a Torn Britain

The Deep Blue Sea (4 out 5 Stars)
Directed and Written by Terrence Davies (The House of Mirth)
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale

After a cheery holiday season, what better way to bring things down to reality with one of the most emotional films of the year.  Throughout this holiday season most of my time has been catching up on films I missed in the theatres, or were in such limited release, I missed their time even at Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge.  This film had been on my list since seeing the preview, I love a good thought provoking emotional journey, and this film fits the bill.

Hester Collyer (Weisz) is married to a judge, Sir William Collyer (Beale).  While during the World War II Hester becomes caught in a heated love affair with an air force pilot Freddie Paige (Hiddleston). The film centers on Hester's discovery of the passion she lacks with her older more traditional husband, and Davies rather shrewdly uses impeccable editing in his script to take audiences back and forth between the two worlds where Hester never reaches the emotional stability she needs.

This film is based on the 1952 play by Terrence Ratigan, centering on love that feels incredibly right, but goes wrong when Hester's uncontrollable emotions start to consume her actions.  Davies uses his own experiences growing up in working class Liverpool to emphasize the emotional context of this story.  Davies work in the film The House of Mirth helps extrapolate the social mores within this film looking at the noble judge in comparison with World War II pilot.  Within this film Davies uses the social structure and post war era emotions to help emphasize the emotional struggle of the three characters caught in the love triangle.

One of the main stars outside of the film is the city of war torn London.  From the first and last scenes the the image of a building torn apart by bombing raids proves to symbolize the actresses emotional journey as she battles her fiery relationship, and new found journeys.  Davies knows how to make these scenes impact the film without letting the tone, or scene control the film.  Davies quick cuts from scene to scene allow audiences to create their own understanding of each characters journey, and letting the actor's performance shine.

Each of the three stars is brilliant in their own way, but the most illuminating is Weisz (past Best Supporting Actress winner for The Constant Gardener).  Weisz's character Hester never truly hoots or hollers, nor does she let the stories melodrama become too much.  Weisz has proven throughout the evolution of her career and with this role as Hester that she has perfected her craft, and become one of the best actresses.  As you watch Weisz dance between these two men there is never an instant where you don't struggle with her character; she transforms the viewer allowing them to fight along with her.

The two other men in her life are Freddie and Sir William are also played with utter expertise.  Beale captures the quiet refined nature, while showing his anguish over losing someone he loves; his performance is the quiet brilliance within this film.  Hiddleston is a fire storm; he is one of the best new actors on the scene, from his role as villain Loki in The Avengers, to his alcoholic nature in this film. Hiddleston represents the other side of love passion, and his performance elevates the intense feelings of the passionate love affair.

In the early part of the film Hester's mother-in-law says "Beware of passion Hester.  It always leads to something ugle."  Hester responds with a glib "What would you replace it with?" and mother-in-law responds "with a guarded enthusiasm."  This line represents the true differentiation between passion f

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