'Deep Water' Review: Affleck, Armas dazzle in Hulu's baffling, sexy thriller
Based on the book of the same name, 'Deep Water' works because of the enigmatic performances and the entertaining stuff it offers
There is something about celebrity couples portraying marriages in decline. A lot of real-life couples have played partners in movies and most of their on-screen relationships have been dreadful. The newest couple to portray a rotten love story on screen is none other than Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas. Technically, they are a “former” couple now, but they were in a relationship when they started shooting ‘Deep Water’.
Based on the book of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, the movie revolves around a couple, Vic Van Allen (Ben Affleck) and Melinda Van Allen (Ana De Armas), who seems to be in love with each other. They have a daughter and by initial looks, it feels there’s nothing wrong with them. However, there are a lot of secrets in their married life and some secrets are so dirty that they wouldn’t let anyone know about them. The sub-genre of erotic thriller is filled with several sexy movies, but we haven’t seen a great film since ‘Gone Girl’ (2014). In the David Fincher movie, we saw Affleck trying to find out what the hell his wife is doing and in ‘Deep Water’, the situation is kind of the same, but more twisted.
The movie starts with Armas’s character asking Affleck if he loves her. He says, “Of course,” and that’s when we get into a flashback where we see how their relationship really is. They have a loveless marriage and the only thing keeping them together is an arrangement where Melinda (Armas) is allowed to any number of lovers as long as she does not desert her family. On the other hand, Vic takes credit for killing one of Melinda’s friends who was getting too close to her. He only does that so that he could drive away the men who went on to have sexual adventures with his wife.
However, things get worse when her sexual adventures get too weird and start affecting the family. That’s when Vic becomes a man who is not afraid to do anything in order to keep his wife with him.
The movie touts itself as an erotic thriller, but it actually walks a fine line between psychological thriller and domestic drama. As I reached halfway, I knew this movie is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But watch it if you are okay with a plot that takes time to gather steam and when it does, it provides you all the entertaining stuff you hoped for. While watching the film, you’ll constantly question yourself why is Vic not saying anything and suffering in a relationship that surely doesn’t have love. As the movie progresses, you’ll get to know why he never did anything.
Ben Affleck as Vic is simply outstanding. He continues to grow as a performer and in his recent works such as ‘Triple Frontier’, ‘The Way Back’, and ‘The Tender Bar’, he is undoubtedly at his prime. With ‘Deep Water’, he establishes himself as one of the greatest actors working in the industry right now. His witty one-liners and the way he says his lines while trying to scare away Melinda’s lovers are a treat to watch.
However, Ana De Armas is the soul of this movie. She impressed everyone with her acting in ‘Knives Out’ and ‘No Time To Die’ but ‘Deep Water’ feels like a career-defining performance. She is fierce, sexy, and amazingly portrays the role of a woman who is self-centered and only thinks about her married life when it suits her. Some of her scenes with Affleck and other partners are really sensual.
When the movie starts to dive deeper into the lives of both lead characters, the pacing becomes stimulating and you are at the edge of your seats, waiting for something crazier to happen in the next scene. The best thing about the movie is that you won’t be able to guess how the movie will end and that’s why you are glued to your screens until the end credits roll out.
It might not be Adrian Lyne’s finest piece of work, but it is an enjoyable thriller that will gain cult status in the future. ‘Deep Water’ is an intriguing little thriller that reaches greater heights because of terrific performances from the film’s lead actors.
If you want to see a slow-burner filled with unknowingly sexy scenes and amazing acting, then ‘Deep Water’ is perfect for you. Watch it and make a decision for yourself.
'Deep Water' will be premiering exclusively on Hulu on Friday, March 18.