The Deep Blue Sea (movie review)

One does not watch The Deep Blue Sea but rather, the viewer collides with it – it’s like a visual and auditory game of bumper cars.

The movie starts out with thumping orchestra and exuberant camera moves – I found it overwhelming, but it certainly got my attention. This bookends the movie, which I didn’t find effective, but… yeah, it’s certainly a choice, and it’s important to make strong choices and take chances in any art form. I just don’t think that these worked particularly well. It’s kind of a metaphor for the entire experience of watching The Deep Blue Sea.

The movie has striking images and intriguing camera moves, and most of the time, things are looking good, but sometimes, it’s just not working. For example, there’s a love scene where the camera is forever spinning and moving down, from head to toe. You can see that they had a definite idea there, but it’s just not working – at least not for me. The music often works in concert with the images, but often, it’s just too much for me.

The story centers around Rachel Weisz’s Hester, who creates her own problem, which makes it tough to sympathize with her character… maybe if the movie provided more context, you could feel something for her. For example, you have no idea why Hester married Sir William. Did she love him, or maybe she just thought she did? Or maybe she thought they’d all die in the war, might as well get married… but then the war ended and they were all still alive? There’s just too much I don’t understand about Hester’s life, and since you must be fully invested in Hester and I wasn’t able to get there, the story didn’t work for me.

The movie is held together by the strong performances of Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Simon Russell Beale and Ann Mitchell. Rachel Weisz carries the movie on her back, but that’s not to anyway diminish the work of the other actors. I’ve seen Tom Hiddleston be ‘fun crazy’ in the Marvel movies, so it was interesting to see a totally different brand of crazy out of him this time around. Simon Russell Beale and Ann Mitchell do a great job of supporting the leads – Beale is especially good in so many long scenes where he has so little to do.

There are a lot of “buts” in this review, and that’s never a good sign. Still, The Deep Blue Sea isn’t terrible, but I wouldn’t call it a much watch. When I first saw the movie a few weeks ago, I was a bit befuddled, but now that I’ve let it sink in, it seems to have grown on me. I’m giving it a 7 out of 10. The Deep Blue Sea certainly isn’t for everyone, but I wouldn’t call it a waste of your time, either.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on August 26, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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