Deep Water (2022) | Discussion, Recommendations & Spoilers | Film Review
Deep Water (2022) is an American mystery-thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. The film is written by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson and directed by Adrian Lyne. Deep Water (2022) stars Ben Affleck, Ana de Armas, Grace Jenkins and Tracy Letts. The film was released on March 18, 2022 on Hulu (United States) and Amazon Prime Studios (International).
At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to Vic (Ben Affleck) as he is riding his bike on a trail which is surrounded by thick trees on either side. As he travels down the path, he eventually stops at a house, which turns out to be a house he shares with his wife, Melinda (Ana de Armas) and their daughter, Trixie (Grace Jenkins).
Vic is greeted half-heartedly by Melinda as he is pulling off his shoes and pants on the porch (I hope they don't have neighbors). Melinda, sitting on the stairs, apparently waiting for Vic to arrive home, gets up and goes up the stairs after her lackluster greeting and Vic sighs, seemingly used to her disinterest in him.
We are then introduced to Vic and Melinda's daughter, Trixie, who is a precocious child. Trixie seems to understand the turmoil in her parent's marriage and seems to enjoy engaging in behaviors that annoy her mother, much to the amusement of Vic. It seems that Vic also harbors resentment and anger towards Melinda and approves of Trixie's calculated behavior.
We soon learn why Trixie does not seem to like her mother very much; Melinda has been involved in a number of sexual relationships with men outside of the marriage and Vic has agreed to let Melinda see other men in order to avoid getting divorced. Um...okay, but your relationship is toxic as hell and it's affecting your child, so...I don't know, maybe divorce is healthier? Just a thought.
We discover that one of the men Melinda was seeing, Malcolm McRae, has been missing for some time. Melinda seems somewhat worried about his disappearance, but Vic seems happy that the man has gone missing. While Melinda and Vic attend a party, she dances and flirts with another lover, Joel Dash (Brendan Miller). As Vic watches them together, it is obvious he is jealous and extremely angry at their behavior.
Several friends of Vic's ask him about Melinda and Joel and Vic tells them he is perfectly fine with Melinda and Joel's relationship, despite how obvious it is that he is not okay with what is and has been going on.
Joel eventually takes a break from Melinda and greets Vic, telling him how cool he thinks Vic is for allowing Joel and Melinda to be together. With no one watching their interaction, Vic decides to show a different side of himself to Joel. He tells Joel that Malcolm is missing because he killed him. Joel, not sure if Vic is joking or not, becomes frightened of Vic and leaves the party without telling Melinda what Vic said.
Melinda is puzzled by Joel's behavior and wonders what Vic said to Joel. She asks Vic and he tells Melinda he didn't say anything, but we know he is lying to her and we are left to wonder how far Vic will go to keep Melinda at his side and what will happen to others who engage in a relationship with Melinda. As the film continues, we discover if Vic really killed Malcolm and how serious his threats are to Melinda's lovers.
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*Discussion contains spoilers
After the party, Joel tells Melinda he is leaving town and seems glad he is getting away from Vic and Melinda. Unbeknownst to Vic, Joel has told several people what Vic said about killing Malcolm. Several of Vic's friends tell him the rumor is spreading that he killed Malcolm and when Malcolm is found dead, many question if Vic could have killed Malcolm.
Vic and Melinda seem to still be sexually attracted to each other and have several sexual encounters throughout the film, but also seem to hate things about each other at the same time, Melinda takes great pleasure in making Vic jealous and constantly looks for him when flirting and touching other men. In turn, Vic finds himself more sexually aroused when Melinda shows interest in him after being with other men. (If you're looking for relationship tips, definitely look to this movie to see how to have a great marriage).
As Melinda seems to quickly take lover after lover, Vic's jealously grows. He finds himself becoming more and more enraged at the endless revolving door of men. We don't know for sure if he actually killed Malcolm because the police arrested another man for his murder, but Vic becomes more and more unhinged as the film continues.
One night, at a party at Melinda and Vic's house, Vic sees Melinda with her current lover, a man named Charlie De Lisle (Jacob Elordi), a local pianist who is supposedly giving Melinda piano lessons (yeah, right). After everyone leaves the pool area to go inside for some food, Vic finds himself alone with Charlie. Vic eventually goes inside the house after a few minutes and Melinda goes to look for Charlie, who she finds ass up in the pool, doing the lungs-full-of-water challenge. (He lost).
She cries for help and several guests drag ol' water lungs out of the pool to try to give him CPR. One of the guests, an oaf named Don (Tracy Letts), drops Charlie and Charlie's head hits the side of the pool. It doesn't matter much, because Charlie is taking a dirt nap, so they call the police.
The police show up, and through flashbacks, we discover Vic did drown Charlie. Melinda tells the police she knows Vic killed Charlie, but they don't find proof that it was anything but an accident due to Charlie being three sheets to the wind and the fact that there were no witnesses. Vic gets away with murder, but Don and Melinda are convinced Vic killed Charlie and hire a private investigator to follow Vic.
Vic figures out Don and Melinda have hired a private investigator pretty quickly and confronts Melinda and the private investigator while they are having lunch at a restaurant. Meanwhile, Melinda has taken another lover, who turns out to be an ex-boyfriend named Tony Cameron (Finn Wittrock). Vic, completely fed up with how Melinda treats him and their daughter, finds Tony walking on a sidewalk while driving around looking for him.
Vic tells Tony that Melinda wants him to see her and convinces him to come with him to meet up with her. Trixie's dog that she recently adopted from a shelter is in the backseat and about to witness a murder, so I feel pretty bad for it. Vic drives Tony out into the woods after driving like a maniac and as Tony is walking away from the car, pitches a 75-mile-an-hour rock to Tony's skull.
Tony screams and tries to get away, so Vic throws another rock at him and Tony dies as he tumbles down the cliff o' rocks and trees and shit. Once he gets to the bottom near a river, Vic takes his belt off and the dog's leash and ties some giant rocks to Tony to sink him in the very shallow river. You can see that guy from a mile away and something tells me Vic is terrible at hide and seek. He probably just shuts his eyes like a two-year-old and thinks he's invisible.
Vic, basically brushing off his hands, heads home and lets Melinda wonder where the hell Tony got to. Once Tony is out of the picture, Vic finds Melinda warming towards him and becoming more interested in him. One afternoon, to Vic's surprise, she asks him if he wants to go on a picnic.
It turns out the picnic location is right next to where Tony is floating dick up in the river. Vic sees Tony in the water and decides he will go back the next day to sink him some more. Vic goes back the next day and tries to sink Tony's gassy corpse with a stick. Sure, that'll work Vic, just sink him with a weak stick.
Despite Melinda seemingly warming to Vic, it's obvious that it's a ploy and she still doesn't trust Vic because while he goes to the river to sink Tony for the second time, she searches his things and snail dungeon to see what she can find (Vic raises snails for some weird reason during the film. I like snails too, but I probably wouldn't raise them).
While she's down in the snail dungeon, she finds Tony's wallet and is horrified to learn Vic has killed him. Unbeknownst to Vic, Don has followed him to the river and sees Tony, floating dick up, refusing to sink, despite Vic's inept efforts to push him to the bottom with his stick that keeps breaking off.
Panicking, Don runs to his car and tries to get away, with Vic following on his bike that apparently goes 80 miles-an-hour on trail paths. Vic, seeing he can't catch up to Don on the trail, takes a shortcut and eventually catches up to Don, falling in front of his car. Don swerves and goes off another cliff, into the same river. I guess he's dead as shit because his car is upside down, the tires flew off in a fit of joy, and he never gets out.
Vic, being a sociopath, seems pretty happy with the turn of events and goes back home to Melinda and Trixie. We then see Melinda burning Tony's license, seemingly deciding to stay with Vic for the long-run.
I like some of Adrian Lyne's films, but I didn't really like this one. I thought the build-up to Vic killing Melinda's lovers was very repetitive and it didn't build any suspense for me. I thought either he was fantasizing about killing the lovers and Melinda was actually doing it or he had been killing them and they'd eventually show what he had been up to the whole time.
I really didn't like Melinda's character because she seemed like an asshole, but I did like Vic's character. He seemed more complicated and interesting. I kind of went back and forth between Vic being completely in love with Melinda and unable to let go under any circumstances and him just being narcissistic and sociopathic, but as the film went on, I was leaning more towards the latter.
I liked Vic's friends for the most part, but I didn't feel like they added much to the story. My favorite of his friends was Grant (Lil Rel Howery) because he was funny, empathetic and came across as a genuine friend.
I didn't find the sex scenes to add much either. They confused me and made me wonder if Melinda was just a nymphomanic or if she just didn't want to be tied down, but accepted the marriage because she knew Vic would never leave her alone. It seemed like since she thought Vic was okay with her being with other guys and paid for everything, the relationship would work, but the whole time I kept thinking, he's going to snap, he's going to snap, just wait for it. Her whole reasoning and behavior aggravated me more than it made me connect with her or feel empathy towards her.
Have you seen this film? What did you think? Do you plan on watching it? Have you read the book? How do you think it compares? I like the book's ending better, personally.