I was disappointed by the perplexing reviews from other critics (mixed, but mostly negative) of Deep
A superb Ben Affleck and gorgeous Ana de Armas play Vic and Melinda Van Allen, a beautiful couple who are unconventional, even to their friends. He collects snails and she has a passion for extramarital sex with her older husband’s knowledge and disapproval. One of her bedmates has disappeared and Vic kids around about killing him. It’s just his peculiar sense of humor, but the rumor spreads. Melinda’s juvenile behavior is annoying to the point of madness. Her latest diversion—a piano player named Charlie, who works in a French Quarter jazz bar. Vic finds a canceled check labeled “piano lessons. He sends her tulips which she uses to decorate the bedroom. Her sleeping around grows in intensity; so does his rage, which turns to paranoia. At a yard party, Charlie is found dead in the swimming pool. Vic taunts his wife, who is now convinced he really is turning into a serial killer. But she stops short of telling the cops. Sample scene: “If you think I killed Charlie, aren’t you frightened of me?” “No.” “Why not?” “Cause I’m the thing you killed for.” That’s the clue—to the film and the marriage. Her feline strategy, replete with sex, passion and no-holds-barred frontal nudity, and his palpable jealousy and fearless drive are the elements in their relationship that keeps Melinda stimulated and Vic in lust. No spoilers, but there’s a twist ending that drove many critics to cry foul play. But it’s this dire conclusion, with its questionable resolution, that guarantees longevity. Ben and Melinda will stay together as long as they keep the pain and deception fresh and fire the betrayals with imagination.
Ben Affleck plays a diabolical husband with the calm, resolute demeanor of a mathematician solving an elaborate calculus problem. Ana de Armas plays a wife with carnal ingenuity. She keeps finding handsome new guys to reduce the boredom, and he keeps thinking up ingenious new ways to murder them. Heading the exceptional supporting cast is actor-playwright Tracy Letts, as the suspicious neighbor whose radical discovery of the truth fatally backfires. How she finally traps her husband and ends the charade gives the film its “gotcha” moment, but Deep
Observer Reviews are regular assessments of new and noteworthy cinema.