Between the devil and The Deep Blue Sea
(A slightly older review from a blog of a bygone era that never got published. Film isn’t too old though so hopefully still of interest!)
The Deep Blue Sea (starring Tom Hiddleston, Rachel Weisz and Simon Russell Beale) is one of my few experiences with great playwright Terrence Rattigan. It is, to say the least, a stunning piece of film making, if not a little slow at points. The slowness isn’t a true criticism though as it is the nature of the play of the same name that it is based on. The performances were stunning, especially Rachel Weisz who I have only seen in The Mummy and therefore haven’t had the chance to see do any serious drama. Tom Hiddleston was incredibly memorable and heartbreaking as hot headed Freddie Page, the RAF pilot who Weisz’ character Hester falls in love with but, with near devastating consequences, is not nearly as in love with her. The film is a testament to his skill as an actor as you watch him vacillate from a screaming, angry bully to a young frightened man. One particularly memorable scene came at the end of the piece as we watch Freddie’s eyes glisten with tears. Tom manages to make Freddie so small and vulnerable that you begin to pity him, despite the appalling way in which he treated Hester. Simon Russell Beale brought a real sadness to the piece as the kind husband who Hester left. It was enormously thought provoking and I found myself wondering what I would do if I were in Hester’s situation, would I stay with the old, slightly dull but ultimately kind and loving husband or pursue love and passion in the form of the volatile but interesting and fun lover? It is a very hard decision to try to make.
All in all a fascinating and beautiful piece of film making but not particularly fast paced or easy going. Certainly worth a watch though.