Deep Water review: What goes inside Ben Affleck’s head when he sees his wife dancing and flirting?
What: This is not your everyday ordinary erotic thriller
OTT movie Deep Water review
You’ve seen couples like the Van Allens. They’re perfect: she’s stunningly beautiful and he’s quiet and intelligent and very, very rich. Their child is cute, sometimes precocious but lovely. They live in a wonderful town where they spend their evenings partying. It looks like an endless summer.
Ben Affleck is Vic Van Allen, who spends all his time mountain biking, taking photographs and rearing snails. And being an attentive father to the couple’s little girl Trixie (for a change the child comes across as smart and not annoying. Played by Grace Jenkins). The gorgeous Ana De Armas (you’ve seen her in No Time To Die, Blade Runner 2045 and Knives Out) is Melinda Van Allen, the wife, who is sexy and vivacious and flirts with beautiful young men openly, with her husband watching but doing nothing.
The men at the parties comment to Vic, ke yaar, what kind of a man are you, how do you tolerate this much flirting. Ben Affleck’s Vic just calmly says, ‘I love her for what she is, as she is and wouldn’t want her to be any different.’
Everybody who sees her is amazed. Here is a stunning woman, who wears provocative clothes and is kissing and flirting with young men. She knows her husband is watching, and she provokes him again and again. It took me ten minutes to start wondering why they live like this.
Then you realize that divorce is a messy thing especially when the husband is a rich guy. You begin to feel sorry for Vic who does not drink, but handles all jokes made at his expense.
You can imagine such conversation happening in your own group wherever you may be. One of the men in the group says, ‘So, you didn’t kill Martin?’ Vic answers, ‘Yes, I killed him.’ Everyone laughs because he used to be Melinda’s lads, and is missing. Vic rolls his eyes. But you know he does not like such things being said in public.
Melinda is such a treat for everyone’s eyes. She is so gorgeous; no wonder she attracts all kinds of young men. Someone’s making a living by sustainable living projects, another is a pianist at a local bar and another is just some good-looking guy… While you’re watching the movie at home on Amazon, you’re a little conflicted. What does she get by baiting her husband again and again? What drives her to flaunt her lovers in her husband’s face? Why is their relationship so weird?
She obviously has some kind of hold on her husband who cannot resist her physically. But she is cruel to him, teasing him and provoking him sexually and then calmly saying, ‘Shut the door on your way out.’ You wonder why he doesn’t get rid of her instead of the boyfriends…
But does he? There’s a new couple who is curious. And the husband Lionel Washington (played brilliantly by Tracy Letts) is suspicious of Vic. His wife is embarrassed about her husband, ‘I’m sorry that my husband is such a suspicious character.’
The tension between Vic and Melinda grows and grows and what we know about the disappearing boyfriends doesn’t seem wrong because she does not behave like good wives are supposed to. The director cleverly makes us culprits too. Shouldn’t we be horrified that a husband is making boyfriends of his wife disappear? Why are we so quick to judge someone who obviously is searching for a passionate relationship instead of being paraded as a trophy for a rich guy?
The pace of the movie is like an avalanche. At first snow falling down the hills looks beautiful, but when it picks up pace, you know the snow tumbling down the mountain is going to destroy everything in its path. You realise that you have been holding your breath as Vic rides down the mountain on his bicycle, chasing a man in his car. This is not your everyday ordinary erotic thriller. This is like the song (Paulo Conti’s Via Con Me) Melinda sings in the movie, ‘It’s wonderful, it’s wonderful… Chips chips! Chi-boom, chi-boom!’