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Film / The Deep Blue Sea

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Freddie and Hester

"Beware of passion, Hester, it always leads to something ugly."

A quiet, brooding 2011 film set in post-WWII Britain, directed by Terence Davies and based on a 1952 play by Terence Rattigan. The Deep Blue Sea focuses on Hester (Rachel Weisz), the middle-aged wife of a British judge (Simon Russell Beale). Their marriage is affectionate, but lacks passion. Through scenes played out of order, we see Hester fall for Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), a former RAF pilot who hasn't quite gotten over the war. As her marriage falls apart, Hester finds happiness living with Freddie. But her relationship with Freddie isn't perfect...

Not to be confused with Deep Blue Sea, unless you're looking for predatory fish.


The movie has the following tropes. Also needs more love.

  • Adaptation Expansion: Opens out a great deal from the source material. Writer-director Terence Davies fills in the main characters' back stories through flashback and dream sequences, and also expands the roles of minor characters like Mrs. Elliot the landlady. Rattigan's play focuses only on the aftermath of Hester's suicide attempt.
  • Amicable Exes: Hester and William, though they're not technically divorced, since she just left to live with Freddie. When they meet again after a few months, William's not mad at her anymore and it's still obvious they care for each other. He even offers to give her a divorce if she still wants it and wants her to be happy, to which Hester is grateful.
  • Book-Ends: The movie begins and ends with shots of Hester looking out the window.
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  • Despair Event Horizon: Hester has reached hers at the beginning of the movie, when she attempts suicide.
  • Fanservice: Naked Rachel Weisz and naked Tom Hiddleston making love. Within the first ten minutes of the movie.
  • Forgotten Birthday: Rachel Weisz' character attempts suicide after her beau forgets hers.
  • Idiot Ball: Subverted. Freddie thinks Hester did this because she tried to commit suicide after he forgot her birthday. However, Hester outright says she doesn't blame him or anyone for what she tried to do, and that this wasn't the reason behind her attempt to kill herself.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Hester's mother-in-law. From their interactions it's obvious the elder woman is barely hiding her disapproval of Hester behind a thin veil of politeness. Hester plays along for a while, but snaps at her at one point.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: Hester begs Freddie this way before he leaves for South America.
  • The Remake: There's a 1950s version starring Vivien Leigh and Kenneth More, which isn't well-regarded.
  • Precision F-Strike: Freddie explaining the meaning of FUBAR to Hester.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Freddie's clearly found it hard to readjust to civilian life after his war experiences, though he evinces it more subtly than most such characters.
  • Tearful Smile: Freddie when he is taking farewell of Hester at the end.
  • Title Drop: At one point Hester mentions she is between "the devil and the deep blue sea".
  • Your Cheating Heart: Hester's illicit relationship with Freddie and the aftermath are the core of the film.


Example of: