The Deep Blue Sea
Terence Rattigan and Terence Davies, 2012
#3, 2012 Skandies

  • In postwar London, a woman leaves her significantly older milquetoast of a husband to take up with a younger man with whom she has little in common, and who is soon bored with her, but whom she feels she can't live without.

The first medication I was put on when I sought treatment for my anhedonia was bupropion.  It didn't work, but I did experience a number of its side effects.  One of the weirdest of those side effects was that for two days I could not stand any sort of music — even my very favorite songs made me cringe.  A music professor once told me that he had a similar experience every time he tried going to movies: that as much as he might be interested in the story and the cinematography, the scores sounded so uniformly awful to him that he couldn't stand them.  I couldn't relate — I rarely even notice the music in movies, or even that they have music — but watching The Deep Blue Sea, I began to understand what his experience of movies must be like.  I wanted to get into the world of the story, but that horrible violin was so grating that the movie was actually making me angry at it.  Finally, about ten minutes in, the violin went away, and the scenes began to be scored with blessed silence.  But then sometimes people would sing!  And the songs they sang were just unbearable!  Or they'd turn on the radio, and the music on the radio — ghaah!  I mean, no, the music wasn't as bad as the music in Juno, but then, how could it be?  Still, it was hard to take.

I wish I had something more to say about this movie than that, but I'm afraid I don't.  Seemed pretty textbook-affair to me.  Mike D'Angelo wrote that "it's like watching somebody cut herself using another human being instead of a knife", and I would say that inspiring that applause-worthy turn of phrase is probably this film's greatest achievement.

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