Adapting Terence Rattigan’s classic play of the same name, Terence Davies delivered his first work of fiction in eleven years with this biting portrayal of doomed romance in post-WWII London, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston.
We first meet Hester Collyer (Weisz) on the fateful day of an attempted suicide. Through flashback segues, the film illuminates her tumultuous, passionless marriage to wealthy judge William (theatre veteran Simon Russell Beale, Operation Mincemeat), and the turning point in her life that was her meeting youthful, volatile RAF pilot Freddie Page (Hiddleston), a man plagued by the personal toll taken on him by World War Two.
As the two embark on an intense, forbidden affair, Hester must choose between the devil that is her dangerously carefree new flame, or the deep blue sea of her comfortable, sparkless life of comfort with her affluent husband.
Weisz is utterly magnetic in the lead role, portraying a wrenching emotional dilemma with incredible nuance. Davies, meanwhile, adapts the source material with astonishing class, and a clear reverence for bringing a complex trio of characters alive on screen.
Magically conjuring an atmospheric 1950s London through his instantly recognisable use of painterly framing, evocative music and that elegant travelling camera, The Deep Blue Sea is a haunting waltz through the trials of love.
This film is screening at Tyneside Cinema as a part of our season Living as Poetry: A Tribute to Terence Davies which you can learn more about here!