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Deep Water Shimmers In Its  Shallowness



Deep Water

Deep Water(Amazon Prime)

Starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas

Rating: **

Deep Water, the first film  in  20 years  by the  high-priest  of mainstream erotica Adrian Lyne, is  not  a deep  film. It isn’t meant to be. It is designed as  a confectionary aphrodisiac with  goodlooking actors(in some cases, sinfully  eyecandyish) moving in  posh homes and automobiles, swimming in personal backyard swimmingpools  and drowning in champagne  as if there’s  no tomorrow.

One  of  the  toyboy-lookers  chooses to drown   in the swimmingpool rather than the champagne and that’s when the  drama  really kicks in. Like the champagne that is really bubbly and  the  characters  who are truly  unfettered  in their  surface values, the drama when  it kicks in,is  done  in that breathless pacy tone which  Lyne  is  known  by in his past triumphs namely  9 ½ Weeks,  Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal.

Sex , betrayal and murder go  hand-in-hand in Lyne’s  heady brew  of  the bold and  the glib. The shadows which cast an ominous spell on the  characters are never intimidating.  You know that  flow of blood is  on a tap.Wait until Adrian Lyne  comes to his finale, he may shock you. On  the other  hand he may leave you with a WTF  feeling of betrayal.

Betrayal is what the film protagonist  experiences  throughout the  film. Ben Affleck’s  Vic  is a  loser  straight  out of a Graham Greene fiction. I swear  if this  paean to pulp passions (ignited  on laugh-moon  nights)  was not written by the  queen of  high-class pulp Patricia  Highsmith, I would have sworn Affleck was playing  a Graham Green  hero: so  in love with his slutty wife that she  cheats on him repeatedly right under his nose.

As  the  chronically  cuckolded  husband ,  Affleck is  heartbreakingly  imperturbable .It is like watching a hero from a Shakespearean tragedy trying  hard not to get angry with his over-sexed wife(I wouldn’t call her a nymphomaniac because I am polite). Of course  the seething rage  surfaces,as  one after another Belinda’s  boy-flings  start disappearing.

Has her husband Vic ‘dunnit’?  The plot doesn’t keep us  hanging on  too long in suspense. There is a  sense of urgency in the  the seedy proceedings. Even the   lovemaking sequences  are hurried;horniness is  tolerated  but not celebrated the way it was in Lyne’s 9 ½  weeks. A  possible  reason  for this  could be  Affleck who is more  a tragic bloke than a  libidinous lad.  He  stands in  good stead  as  the portrait of   a marriage  on the  rocks, as  a  whole conservative  township of gossipy  nosy neighbours  and friends, stare whisper and  giggle.

Anna De Armis’s  Melinda is  a very tough woman to play. Technically Melinda  doesn’t cheat on her  husband Vic: she copulates  with other men with his full knowledge  , if not consent. She is a  terrible wife, an awful mother…You want to hate  Melinda.

But damn, she is  so hot!  Anna De Armis  scorches  the screen with her impetuous  promiscuousness.

Speaking of  Melinda’s maternal  misdemeanours  the little girl playing the daughter Tixie(Grace  Jenkins) is absolutely  adorable. Stay for the  end-credits when this  6-year star  sings along with  Leo Sayer’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like Dancing’

Deep Water makes us feel  happy not to  be  super-rich. It seems  those who live in  glass houses do not throw stones.They use much more  lethal weapons.

At the most, Deep Water is  a sexily  assembled  gorgeous-to-look at thriller about a man who  loves his woman to the death of his  self respect.At the least,  it is a classy  pseudo-porn drama  about a man who gets a masochistic pleasure in watching his wife  make out with  younger men.

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