Arts, Movies, Review

Despite Great Acting and Directing, Mystery Drama ‘Deep Water’ Still Flops


Shifting from sweet romantic encounters to maniacal backstabbing, the recent film Deep Water tries to draw viewers in with its twisted plot. Everything falls apart on a stormy night as raindrops disturb the calm surface of the luxurious pool of Vic (Ben Affleck) and Melinda Van Allen (Ana de Armas).

But an outlandish storyline plagues the new Hulu release. The head-scratching choices that some of the characters make cause the audience to lose touch with the direction of the plot. 

The all-star trio of director Adrian Lyne, Affleck, and de Armas are experienced in their craft, and viewers expect them to create a compelling film. But the film is weighed down by an unbelievable plot that’s muddled by confusing relationships between the characters and their puzzling choices. Neither the stars’ acting chops nor the cinematography saved the doomed drama. 

The movie is based on a novel of the same name by mystery writer Patricia Highsmith. Affleck and de Armas play a married couple enjoying the pleasures of a well-to-do lifestyle in New Orleans. 

But their marriage is anything but pleasurable. The couple’s differences lead them to establish an open relationship, and Melinda has intimate relationships with many other people in order to try to solve her marital problems with Vic. When one of the men Melinda has an affair with goes missing, Vic becomes a prime suspect. The characters and the audience have to figure out what’s really going on and why Melinda’s lovers keep disappearing. 

The acting in this movie is not the problem. Affleck and de Armas each play their respective characters well. Affleck plays a calm-on-the-outside figure battling his inner demons, while de Armas encapsulates a confident and powerful character. 

But the chemistry between the pair is slightly off, which is strange considering the two were a couple in real life at the time this movie was filmed. Their conversations and emotions don’t line up. One minute Vic will be yelling while Melinda stands stiff, and the next, the roles flip. 

The direction of the movie is also not the problem. The movie is beautifully shot. The striking cinematography features soothing blue and yellow hues, creating a pleasing viewing experience. Smooth shots and lighting added to the overall tone of the film and made it enjoyable to look at. The opening frame of the film, a drone shot of a bridge in New Orleans, sets the precedent for the beauty of the film.  

It is just a wild story that, at times, makes no sense, derailing the whole film. Deep Water pales in comparison to the many other satisfying drama mysteries available to watch, including Affleck’s other movie about a strained marriage, Gone Girl. It makes sense that there was so little buzz leading up to this anticlimactic, puzzling film about infidelity. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Hulu

April 3, 2022