Deep Water

Deep Water
Original title:Deep Water
Director:Adrian Lyne
Running time:115 minutes
Release date:18 march 2022
Vic and Melinda Van Allen are a well-to-do New Orleans couple whose marriage is crumbling under the weight of resentment, jealousy and doubt. As their mutual provocations and manipulations escalate, things quickly turn into a deadly game of cat and mouse when Melinda's lovers begin to disappear.

Mulder's Review

We had to wait twenty years to find director Adrian Lyne in a new sensual thriller carried by an excellent main cast composed of Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas. After having indelibly marked the 80's and 90's with films like Flashdance (1983), 9 ½ Weeks (1986), Fatal Attraction (1987), Jacob's Ladder (1990) and the disappointing Indecent Proposal (1993), Lolita (1997) and Unfaithful (2002), we wondered if director Adrian Lyne would offer us a new bewitching thriller or, like his last films, a work cruelly lacking in ambition. The film thus proposed is certainly not perfect. It sometimes lacks rhythm but gives the main duo Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas the appearance of a perfect couple whose many years of marriage will burst the husband's sick jealousy while his wife will not stop playing with his nerves. 

The film is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1957 bestseller, and screenwriters Zach Helm and Sam Levinson managed to find the right angle to adapt it and make it even more poisonous. Vic Allen (Ben Affleck) and his Melinda (Ana de Armas) seem to be a solid couple and they raise their daughter with a willingness to give her the air of a close couple. However, appearances are deceiving and Melinda will constantly try to provoke her husband's jealousy in a dangerous game. While men get too close to his wife, Alec seems to let his impulses guide his steps and he will do anything to make his wife love him again as a strong man. 

Deep Water) could surely have been an excellent erotic thriller if the choice of director had turned instead to Paul Verhoeven whose film Basic Insctint remains the master standard of erotic thrillers. Carried by an excellent duo Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone the film succeeded in being a violent thriller without concession before being a succession of torrid scenes. One wonders if bringing director Adrian Lyne out of retirement was a good idea, as his direction seems dated. This director had been successful by applying a style that he mastered to perfection, that is to say images close to those of music videos with close-ups and always the same will to say that love almost always triumphs. 

Deep Water) with the presence of an excellent actor equally at ease in action films, superhero movies, comedies or dramas could have been much more ambitious and especially allow his character to be better exploited. This executive who invented a revolutionary chip in drone warfare and who no longer needs to work seems to spend his time near his wife and riding his bike in the Connecticut woods near their home and seems to be unhappy as his life is so lacking in tone and he seems disconnected from the world around him. Ben Affleck has shown that he can be an excellent actor as long as he faces the demons of his private life and is directed by directors with a real ambition to go beyond the simple framework of a commercial and simplistic film. Seeing him here in the role of a husband seeing his wife surrounded by many suitors seems to be of little interest to him and the bland direction of Adrian Lyne does not help him to believe in his character and to impose himself on the screen in a role different from Bruce Wayne / Batman which had the merit of reviving his career. 

The screenwriter Sam Levinson rather very talented as shown in Operation Endgame (2010), Assassination Nation (2018) and the sequel Euphoria despite the help of Zach Helm seems not to have found the perfect angle to give life to the novel by Patricia Highsmith. The pace is too smooth and slow and is not helped by the uninspired direction of Adrian Lyne. It is therefore easy to understand why this film is not released in theaters and is directly on a streaming platform such as Hulu (USA) or Prime Video (rest of the world).

The undeniable strong point of the film is the presence of the beautiful Ana de Armas whose grace and beauty are clearly visible on screen.  Revealed by films like Knock Knock (2015), Blade Runner 2049 (207) and more recently the excellent Knives Out (2019) and No Time to Die (2021), the film owes much to the fragility and strength she brings to her character.  But this is unfortunately the only attraction of this film that should have initially been released in theaters but in view of the final result was removed from the release schedules to finally land on a streaming platform with a worldwide release this Friday.

Deep Water
Directed by Adrian Lyne
Screenplay by Zach Helm, Sam Levinson
Based on Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith
Produced by Arnon Milchan, Steven Zaillian, Garrett Basch, Guymon Casady, Ben Forkner, Anthony Katagas, Philipp Keel
Starring Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Tracy Letts, Lil Rel Howery, Dash Mihok, Finn Wittrock, Kristen Connolly, Jacob Elordi, Rachel Blanchard
Cinematography : Eigil Bryld
Edited by Andrew Mondshein, Tim Squyres
Music by Marco Beltrami
Production companies : 20th Century Studios, Regency Enterprises, New Regency, Entertainment 360, Film Rites, Entertainment One
Distributed by Hulu (United States), Amazon Prime Video (International)
Release date : March 18, 2022
Runnin3. time : 115 minutes

Seen on March 05, 2022

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