Directed and scripted by Terence Davies, The Deep Blue Sea (2012), based on Terence Rattigan’s 1952 play, is a thematically rich enterprise about a woman who leaves her older husband for another man, only to be rejected by him after the woman’s failed suicide attempt. The film provides a message regarding the frequent failure of shallow people (such as the lover, Freddie Page) to understand those whom they love, or “love.” It also presents a woman, Hester Collyer, who does what all of us do: She lives strictly according to her physical and psychological needs, both positive and negative. And, oh, how it alienates her lover! As I said, the film is thematically rich.
It begins with Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto accompanying Davies’ images, music which shortly becomes inappropriate because it is too lovely and sweeping. What follows, however, is limpid and disturbing film drama, slow-moving but memorable. Rachel Weisz is darkly sensitive, poised but trembling, and not at all butch as Hester. Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale are also flavorously true.