Deep Waters – The Prime Video thriller with Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck

If there is one name among the directors who made the history of the 80s erotic thriller, 90s is precisely Adrian Lyne. Eye behind the camera of cult films like “9 1/2 weeks”, “Fatal Attraction”, “Indecent Proposal”, Lyne returns after twenty years since his last feature “Unfaithful love – Unfaithful” with a new thriller inside what is now well established as his comfort zone. Deep Waters (Deep Water), Hulu original film, but distributed in Italy by Amazon Prime Videos as of March 18, it is based on the novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith which will be republished in Italy by the publishing house The Ship of Theseus starting March 17. We have seen the film in preview and this is our opinion without spoilers.

Deep Waters tells the story of Vic (Ben Affleck) e Melinda Van Allen (Ana de Armas), a much-admired married couple from New Orleans whose relationship begins to sag under the heavy weight of resentments, suspicions, and jealousies. Between provocations, psychological games, mutual wounds, betrayals and strange disappearances, Vic and Melinda will soon fall into the middle of a deadly game, the conclusion of which will depend on how far the two are able to go.

Based on the 1957 novel by Patricia Highsmithbestselling author, mother of Mr Ripley And Carolfrom which successful films have been made, the first with Jude Law, Matt Damon And Gwyneth Paltrowthe second with Cate Blanchett And Rooney Marathe novel Deep Waters is a perfect 1950s-style literary erotic thriller. On the contrary, Lyne’s film decides to adapt the events of Vic and Melinda to the present, trying to modernize the narrative. Twenty years after her last film: Unfaithful lovethe director of the beautiful Perverse Illusionsfrom Flashdance and of the much less successful remake of Lolita with Jeremy Ironsreturns once again to a territory he has already beaten to tell a story of marital secrets and mysteries that repeatedly winks at Gone Girl – Love Liar.

Starting from the photography in shades of gray and green Deep Waters fits perfectly into that context of family thrillers that have reached their high point precisely with the film of Fincher of 2014 in which, ironically, Ben Affleck was starring along with a beautiful Rosamund Pike. In Lyne’s film the new couple (on the set and at the time also in real life) at the mercy of events is really composed of Affleck / de Armas. On the one hand de Armas, a young wife and mother who after a sanctioned agreement with her husband has the possibility of having extramarital relations as long as she does not abandon the marital home, on the other Affleck a silent but observant husband who after an “innocent lie” it may never be the same. In the cast are also present Jacob Elordiveteran of the planetary success of Euphoria And Finn Wittrockwhich fans of Ryan Murphy And American Horror Story they will not be able to forget.

Given the interesting plot assumptions, one would expect a well thought-out thriller which unfortunately, however, seems to lack real momentum. After a more interesting first part that seems to lay the foundations for an intriguing narrative, the second act completely loses focus, resulting in mediocre writing and staging. The same performances of the two protagonists, given the narrated matter, should have been more heartfelt, less listless. Ben Affleck once again he seems to have remained anchored within a single interpretation which leads him to face each film always in the same way; although this role seems to be tailored to him, he fails to convince, most of the time conveying a feeling of boredom and heaviness. Ana de Armaswaiting for the consecration with the forthcoming film “Blonde”, fails to stand out in this role that relegate her to the classic trophy bourgeois wife. Her character is really too little depth and her motivations that move her are bordering on ridiculous. The film itself, on the whole, seems to have come out of the 90s, the modern adaptation was not enough to rejuvenate a story anchored in the past that would undoubtedly have worked better a few decades ago.

Deep Waters despite some interesting premises, he stumbles into enormous defects in the writing phase that penalize the entire result of the project. Presented as an erotic thriller, which has very little erotic, unfortunately it can’t even stand on the shoulders of its two protagonists who should have given a close-knit and accomplice performance also considering their relationship off the set at the time of filming. The decision to put a director like Adrian Lyne at the helm, who has made these films his forte, could have been an excellent idea a few years ago, but today the film seems too anchored in the past, ending up being a disappointing and unsuccessful thriller.


Deep Waters will be available on Amazon Prime Videos starting March 18. Here is the official trailer of the film:

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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