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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 5, 2022



ADRIAN LYNE is a British director whose first Hollywood hit was the dance movie, “Flashdance”, whose theme song, “What a Feeling” won the Oscar for best song in 1983. 

Then he did “9½ Weeks” in 1986, an explicit film about a sexually abusive relationship and it was big hit. 

This was followed by his biggest success ever, “Fatal Attraction”, the highest grossing film of the year about sexual obsession with Glenn Close in an unforgettable performance as the deranged heroine. It won many Oscar nominations, including best picture.  

His other hits include “Indecent Proposal”, “Lolita” and the last movie he made, “Unfaithful”, in 2002 based on a French film, “La Femme Infidel”, and was also given a local spin by the late Maryo J. de los Reyes in “Sa Ngalan ng Pag-ibig”. 

Now, after 20 years, he returns to directing at the age of 81 in “Deep Water”, shown on Hulu and based on the 1957 novel of Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote the highly acclaimed “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, with Matt Damon superb in the title role, and the lesbian drama, “Carol”, starring Cate Blanchett. 

The novel was written in the 50s and set in Massachusetts, so it is updated in the movie. The story is now set in the present in a small Louisiana town and Ben Affleck stars as Vic Van Allen, a robotics engineer who became very wealthy for inventing chips used by the military in surveillance drones. 

His hobby is to breed snails in his greenhouse and he loves watching them mating. (And that’s about all the sex scene you’d get in this movie.)

He is married to Melinda (Ana de Armas, who stole her scenes in “No Time to Die”), but their marriage has curdled and they now sleep in separate bedrooms. 

She is very open in entertaining other lovers, with Vic’s tacit permission, just so she won’t leave their marriage and their daughter. He seems to tolerate her infidelity, but does he, really?

In a party, Melinda invites her young lover, Joel (Brendan Miller), and Vic tells him that he has killed her previous lover, Martin, who has been missing for about a month. 

This scares Joel although Vic meant it as a joke. Later, it is revealed that Martin was found dead in the woods, shot to death. 

So many other things happen in the movie but this is all about we could tell you so as not to spoil things for you. 

Tension comes up when a new neighbor, Tracy Letts, also a budding crime writer, starts suspecting that Vic really has something to do with the murder and starts stalking him. In doing so, he gets to know the truth but at the expense of his own life. 

If you’re the type of viewer who wants justice being served in the end, then this is not for you because the killer here gets away with it.  

Seeing a criminal getting away unpunished can be quite disturbing but it would help if the film was made with much finesse and style, like “Mr. Ripley”. We’re afraid “Deep Water” is so tepid compared to “Mr. Ripley”. 

To begin with, Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas do not have much chemistry on screen and they don’t have any erotic energy together, although they really romanced each other while doing the movie and broke up later when Ben was reconciled with another Latina, Jennifer Lopez.  

Ben Affleck got raves last year for “The Last Duel” and “The Tender Bar”, but here, as the miserable, beleaguered husband, he is asked mostly to watch his wife flirting with younger men while he glares and glowers and tries his best to look oh so stoic. 

Ana de Armas is properly sexy and perky as the free-spirited femme fatale and you’d wonder why Ben doesn’t really seem to be lustfully attracted to her. 

The wonder of it all is what made Adrian Lyne come out of his retirement and choose this lukewarm material for his comeback vehicle? It could have probed deeper into the toxic psycho-drama and mind games played by the lead characters, but it just lacks believable character development. 

You just  don’t care about the dramatic tension it tries to present, simply because Vic and Melinda are both unsympathetic, unlikable characters, specially the wife who is really such a big slut. 

Lyne has made some trashy but glossy and delightful erotic thrillers but this most certainly isn’t one of them.