Deep Water (2022)

dir. Adrian Lyne

Deep Water is just a thoroughly unpleasant film. The story follows Vic (Ben Affleck), the wealthy husband of the alluring and mysterious Melinda (Ana de Armas). They have a young daughter (and they also adopt a dog, who is very cute but contributes nothing to the film at all except making it longer). The movie is never entirely clear, but it seems as though Vic and Melinda have a marital deal which means Melinda is permitted to have as many extra-marital affairs as she wants, but she can never leave the family. Why has this deal been made? It’s not particularly clear. Between Vic’s dead-eyed staring and Melinda’s habitual screaming fits, no one seems particularly happy with the status quo. There’s also a big question around why Melinda doesn’t simply leave, then sleep with whoever she wants. Deep Water is stuffed with totally irrelevant details which are focused on for inordinate amounts of time (the aforementioned dog; the source of Vic’s wealth being drone technology; Vic’s bizarre obsession with snails), presumably all in an effort to distract the audience from the fact that the core plot, despite its many supposed jealousy-driven murders, actually has nothing of substance to offer at all. Right down to the casting of Ben Affleck, Deep Water feels like the Gone Girl fanfic sequel that absolutely no one asked for.

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