A competent, if mechanical film: NPR

Melinda (Ana de Armas) and Vic (Ben Affleck)

Claire Folgore/Courtesy of 20th Century Studio

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Claire Folgore/Courtesy of 20th Century Studio

Melinda (Ana de Armas) and Vic (Ben Affleck)

Claire Folgore/Courtesy of 20th Century Studio

The word “garbage” is a complicated one.

Pauline Kael wrote an article in 1969 “Trash, Art and Film”. In it, she argues that many—most—movies are not art. Are they fun, are they enjoyable, are they satisfying, but most lack the level of technical skill that makes them worth talking about, so they’re not art.After all, she says, people considering watching a movie ask “What is it about?” or “Who’s in it?”, not “How is it?” [well] was it shot? like A movie, even understanding it is not subtly production Movie. As such, Kyle broadly refers to films that aren’t (at least some) art as “rubbish,” whether they’re good or not. The word “trash” isn’t exactly derogatory, although it’s certainly dismissive, especially with the idea of ​​trash as art.

so let’s talk deep water.

deep water Adapted from Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name, though it offers a considerable amount of freedom with Highsmith’s plot, characterization and theme. In the film, Vic (Ben Affleck) is married to Melinda (Ana de Armas) and they have a young daughter. Melinda has boyfriends around, it’s a habit Vic knows, she knows he knows, and they talk about it very openly. This doesn’t seem to be the non-monogamous consensual nature of the movie, nor is it a quirk they both like; in this case, they both seem unhappy, and it’s unclear how they got here. (Having said that, maybe pain is their quirk. I don’t judge.)

The film comes from director Adrian Lane flash dance 1983, then became the king of semi-shameful porn movies, including fatal attraction, indecent marriage proposal, infidelityand—probably most famous for pornography— 9 1/2 weeks. These films are a fascinating example of the blurring lines between trash and art: fatal attraction is a sensational thriller that pushes a lot of very familiar development buttons, but manages to be nominated for Best Picture.and deep water Right Down Lane’s Alley: A tale of sex mixed with violence, especially the explosive psychological dangers of extramarital affairs.

The writing pedigree here is peculiar: Lyne is working with screenwriter Sam Levinson, who created the Euphoriaand Zach Helm, who wrote weirder than fiction and Mr. Magorium’s Miracle Mall. That is, you might say, a lot.

It’s worth noting that Highsmith’s interpretation of the nature of Vic and Melinda’s marriage is different from what you’d get from the movie. In the book, Vic imagines himself as a modern man, too sophisticated to be stingy like jealousy or possessiveness: “One of Vic’s strongest principles is that every man—and therefore, a wife—should Allowed to do as she pleases, as long as no one else was injured, she performed her primary duties of running the family and caring for her descendants.”

But in the movie, Vic doesn’t seem to like his marriage. At the (many) parties they attended, he glared at Melinda as she danced openly and flirted with other men, and sullen as she came home from various tasks over and over again. He certainly had no expectations for her to join a traditional family. Granted, it’s hard to tell the difference between glaring angrily and glaring energetically, and I’ve seen critical reactions to the film that Vic likes the Melinda thing more than I do. Is he cold or horny? That’s the problem.

As the story begins, we learn that one of Melinda’s past boyfriends has gone missing, and then something bad has happened to the other of them, and the central question of the film becomes: Does Vic have anything to do with what happened to these people? (Melinda immediately believed he did, another sign that this might not be a consensual marriage, but something more troublesome.)

From here, you’ll see a lot of Ben Affleck with a look. Even in the trailer, there’s shot after shot of disgust at the same face.He’s certainly a potentially menacing figure in the trailer and film, but what’s missing is the peculiarity and transformation that Matt Damon’s pale, embarrassed, frantic Tom inevitably becomes in the Highsmith adaptation monster the brilliant mr ripley. Affleck here is just “Angry Jealous Husband,” which begins and ends largely the same, satisfyingly.

But it raises an interesting question that many self-consciously steamy films have asked before it: Is it good, even if it’s not artistic?

My conclusion is competent, Ryan certainly knows how to create the peculiar state of sweating and potentially destructive desire that has become his hallmark. But it’s hard for me to close the distance between myself and this movie, Enter It, simply because it feels… mechanical. Seams are shown.

But sometimes deep water Approaching another kind of success, and that is the state of really good trash. This is especially true in the sequence where the great Tracy Letts plays the local Butinski, who ends up being one of two characters in the chase scene on the hill. You’ll see highly unlikely superhero levels, fast and FuriousIn the climax of this chase’s imminent chrono-grade feat, you’ll see Letts chewing, chewing, chewing on beautiful mountain views to play it. This guy knows what he’s doing; he’s doing it on purpose. He is participating in good garbage.

Vic – a character in the books Thrive – spends a lot of time in a small shed interacting with his collection of snails. The main purpose of the snail scene seems to be that the extreme close-up of the snails makes them look a little… mucous? And twist? Which is emotional? All these question marks are that the snails seem to get Vic excited, and if anything, it’s a nice piece of crap detail.

It’s too simplistic to say that this movie fell victim to “no script, just atmosphere,” but it is small Kind of real. Unmistakable here is the incredible Lyne-ian mood, that ’90s feeling “seems to contain more sex than it actually is” pictures. Overton Sex Window has changed a lot since then fatal attraction, especially considering how much sex you can watch on consciously elegant TV, so the sheer “sex fog” tone they’re after here is almost nostalgic. Erotic thrillers have a long and glorious history (fatal attraction is part of Michael Douglas’ Pants Off and Run Trilogy, which also includes instinct and disclose), may they… wave.

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