Sunday, May 22, 2022

‘Deep Water’ Review: A Toxic & Twisted Mess No One Asked For

It’s 2022, why are we still glorifying toxic relationships?

Deep Water is a deep dive into one of the most bizarre attempts of a mentally ill Mr. and Mrs. Smith-esque marriage. So many questions are asked, and literally, none of them involve the plot, since they give the entire thing away within the first 10 minutes, but more in the realm of, “Why?”

The biggest why for me, outside of why was this greenlit, was the existence of a child that wasn’t at all relevant or necessary. If anything, it added a new layer of disgusted horror as I imagined what this poor 6-year-old girl was going to grow up to be like surrounded by these two … psychopaths. And if that was the only purpose, please spare us all the anxiety, especially since this film ends with absolutely zero resolution. Although, credit where credit is due, Grace Jenkins gave the best performance of the entire cast.

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There are some films where the lack of a forward-moving plot work, especially when it involves a deep character study or a gentle arc that results in some sort of epiphany, but somehow this film lacked both. There was no plot. No build-up, no climax, no resolution, no act structure, it simply lumbered on like an awkward voyeuristic look into the lives of these two people I have simply no interest in. We get no explanations for anything about them in an almost two-hour film, with each of them ending this story exactly how they began, and that’s just bad storytelling at its worst.

Both Melinda and Vic are horrible people, however, for some reason, they try and paint Vic as some decent, tolerant husband throughout most of the film (and they fail terribly). Again, maybe that’s because they give the entire story away in the first 10 minutes and then try to convince us that’s not actually the story. But they also do a horrible job with that. This marriage is textbook toxic, and yet, there are no repercussions. None. Not from their friends, not from the plot, not even from each other. In fact, it’s almost glorified, and the tone of the film only aids in that.

20th Century Studios

I’m not sure if Ana de Armas’ character was supposed to be empowering in some completely backhanded way, as it seems like they were trying to role-swap the husband and wife here with the wife having the wandering eye instead of her husband. Whatever it was, it’s acted poorly, written poorly, and somehow still manifested in a way that only worked in favor of progressing what little story Vic had throughout the film. She’s erratic yet predictable, messy, and boring.

Speaking of Vic, I don’t know if Ben Affleck could have been more wooden in this film, but I don’t want to see the attempt. I understand what he was aiming for, but it was just a strikeout. Both of these characters were muddled down to empty shells of what little potential they had, and it’s clear the actors weren’t working with much script-wise, but a little bit of flair might have helped this drowning tale from its already doomed start.

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Honestly, if you’re a person who likes to watch bad movies for enjoyment, check it out. If you’re hoping for anything else, maybe give it a pass. Its pull from the theatrical release schedule makes perfect sense now with its 2022 version of straight to DVD release. If I could give one praise outside of little Trixie’s actress, it’s that the film did at least flow well and had a few great shot angles thanks to cinematographer Eigil Bryld.

And someone needs to explain the snails. If it was some obscure symbolization, that somehow makes it worse, too.

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