The Deep Blue Sea

Directed by Terence Davies
FACT Cinema
Opened on 25th November 2011

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Following the acclaimed Of Time and the City, released in 2008 - the year Liverpool celebrated being the European Capital Of Culture - my, my that does seem a long time ago - director Terence Davies returns with a highly accomplished adaptation of a Terence Rattigan play, set, as the opening credits state, around 1950.

The story, often achingly melancholy at times, is set on a single day in a drab bedsit located in London. Despair is thrust upon you from the beginning when Hester (Rachel Weisz), treated abhorrently by her scoundrel lover Freddie (Tom Hiddleston) - after she had left her husband, high court judge and mummy's boy Sir William ((Simon Russell Beale) - attempts suicide by gassing herself - an imprisonable offence in those times.

Saved from doing so, her torment grows ever more intense, as you sense no respite from the icy blackness enveloping her.

Hester, who has had sexual yearnings stirred uo in potent fashion by the dashing Freddie, utters statements to her husband about her erotic desires, which would have caused outrage in that period.

There is some beguiling camerawork, capturing the period detail almost perfectly.

Davies has directed only seven films in 35 years, but The Deep Blue Sea ranks near his best.

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