The Deep Blue Sea - Rachel Weisz plunges into Terence Rattigan's passion play
Rachel Weisz (opens in new tab) is heartbreakingly good as the tormented heroine at the heart of Terence Davies (opens in new tab)’ sensitive adaptation of Terence Rattigan (opens in new tab)’s 1952 play The Deep Blue Sea (opens in new tab), about a woman caught between dull respectability and dangerous passion.
Weisz’s Hester Collyer has left her husband, Simon Russell Beale (opens in new tab)’s high court judge, for a dashing former Battle of Britain pilot (Tom Hiddleston (opens in new tab)), but the impossibility of sustaining their tempestuous romance has driven her to the depths of suicidal despair.
Taking its tone from the pinched and drab mood of bombed-out, ration-squeezed post-war London, Davies’ film is far from cheery, but if you don’t mind the slow pace and can overlook the director’s trademark mannerisms (including the almost obligatory pub singalongs), there’s much to admire, not least the superb acting, with Hiddleston’s flighty lover and Russell Beale’s earth-bound spouse proving perfect foils to Weisz’s heartsick heroine.
Released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 2nd April by Artificial Eye.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.