Deep Water might not reinvent any wheels, but the psychological writing paired with good performances from Affleck and de Armas make this a good time.
This review of the Hulu film Deep Water (2022) does not contain spoilers.
One of my most anticipated movies of the first quarter is finally here and I am excited to discuss the film with all of you. But, of course, I am talking about the infamous Ben Affleck/Ana de Armas film, Deep Water. The movie was filmed when the duo was dating and ultimately broke up, which led to them dropping the film on Hulu.
The film follows Vic Van Allen (Affleck) and Melinda Van Allen (de Armas), a married couple who aren’t as happy as they let on. Vic is a good husband who loves his wife more than anything, so much so that he is willing to let her sleep with other men to avoid getting a divorce. The couple might be seen in public together and everyone knows kind of what’s going on, but Vic still is willing to go on with the facade. Maybe it’s for their daughter, or perhaps for his ego, or perhaps even because he likes control.
Upon Vic meeting one of his wife’s illicit lovers, he puts the fear of God in him by insinuating that he killed his wife’s last fling. After this happens, the dynamic of Vic and Melinda’s relationship truly shows. Melinda invites Joel (the illicit lover) to dinner with her and Vic. Everything, and I mean everything, is put on the table, from the unhappiness that fills the relationship, how they both have different ideas of love and how Melinda really hates Vic.
When writing a good mystery/thriller, you have to make the audience believe anything is on the table and that’s what the writers of this film accomplished. There are so many layers within Deep Water that you are constantly trying to figure out what is happening. Even the moment at the party when Melinda’s new boy toy dies, the entire tone of this film flips from a couple who are going through some stuff to a potential murder mystery that you have no clue what is happening. The writing of our two leads leaves so much open that you never truly understand who we are rooting for.
Speaking of our two leads, when you look at Affleck and de Armas, you have two equally charming actors who are good-looking and have the way of commanding our attention when they are on the screen. I was impressed by de Armas’s work throughout this film because she played a character that you weren’t sure whether to love or hate. The same could be said for Affleck as Vic because you felt sympathy for his character at times and, other times, hated him. Both of these actors played a see-saw battle.
The third act goes completely off the rails and ultimately ends in a place where you are left with your jaw on the floor. I am kind of sad that Affleck’s and de Armas’ relationship caused this film to be released in the manner it is because it is a pretty damn good thriller.
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