Deep Water review: A predictable film that fails to turn heads

Rating: 2.5/5

Deep Water is an erotic psychological thriller about a couple in a toxic marriage and their lives. The film is now streaming on Prime Video.

Story

Deep Water follows the lives and happenings of the protagonists, Vic (Ben Affleck) and Melinda (Ana De Armas). The two socialites are shown to be in a marriage of compromise, where Melinda is “allowed” to repeatedly have extramarital affairs by Vic.

It’s repeatedly mentioned that the two of them are not normal and that Vic does not like to dictate Melinda’s choices. He pretends to be content with their situation, however, is constantly jealous. Melinda takes advantage of this situation and lives her life unattached to Vic or their daughter.

This jealousy of Vic soon grows into hatred, due to his ego and he resorts to tracking down and harming most of Melinda’s love interests. Presumably, Vic is more threatened by the smarter ones among the bunch, as his own intelligence may have felt challenged or threatened.

Melinda, after some attempts at setting things right, accepts her fate. This could have been because of her realising that she has no way out, or that she thinks she deserves no better than Vic.

Murders and mystery surround the family and their friends, as one love interest of Melinda after the other turns up dead.

Performances

Ben Affleck does a convincing job as the mysterious murderer Vic. He comes off as a smooth-talking calm individual with a dark interior. He does a good portrayal of an American-psycho-like character being portrayed on script.

Ana De Armas puts in a stunning and talented depiction of Melinda. She makes the audience initially hate, then feel sympathy for her character. She shows the struggle and thought process of her character and helps the viewer understand Melinda better.

The best and most unexpected performance was by Grace Jenkins, who played the role of Trixie, the couple’s daughter. She captures the essence of a child in a toxic marriage, while also being in the dark about grown-up situations.

Jacob Elordi and Finn Wittrock convincingly play two of Melinda’s many love interests. They both play confident and smart characters, which eventually leads to their downfall.  

Positives

The cinematography was good, with picturesque locations and shots included.

It realistically portrays some abusive relationships, where the victim feels forced to stay. It approaches an uncomfortable issue with sensitivity while not shying away from the truth.

The performances are appreciated, with veterans such as Ben Affleck, professionals like Ana De Armas and emerging actors like Jacob Elordi.

Negatives

Vic never seems to be prosecuted for any of his crimes, which seems to be many. This does not add up as he isn’t particularly careful or calculated about them.

The film is very predictable, with every move of Vic seen coming from a mile away. The direction does not make an effort to hide the fact that murders are going to take place, and Vic is going to be the one committing them.

Some particular scenes were unnecessary and downright uncomfortable, such as the scene with the daughter Trixie, in the bathtub. This included underwater shots, which just made the shot borderline pedophiliac.

The obsession with snails that Vic has is not explained and is just written off as a trait to make the character seem creepier and more mysterious.

The film has certain tropes that make it clear that some characters were written and brought to life by men. Even for a fictional piece, the characters are unrealistic.

Verdict

The psychological thriller does not have any psychological elements and comes off as extremely one dimensional, much like a murder documentary with scenic shots and a lackluster script.


Also Read: Windfall (2022) review: Outstanding thriller that hits all the right notes

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