Tilda Swinton and Goran Visnjic star in The Deep End, a drama thriller that focuses too much on character and too little on story.
Swinton stars as a mother of a gay young man who tries to cover up what she thinks is a murder. Unfortunately for her, a man ("ER"'s Visnjic) comes and blackmails her, but not exactly for the reason one would think. What entails is a thriller without much thrills yet a movie with a good script and great acting. It is an enigma, to say the least - The Deep End is well done, but as a thriller is not very effective.
Swinton delivers a good performance. She received many rave reviews for this role, but I don't know what is so outstanding about it. Again, she is good, but she isn't breathtaking; I think more than anything else critics just didn't find that many actresses in 2001 to praise. Visnjic is also very good, but I really didn't see him as that different from his character in "ER." In The Deep End he is trying to blackmail her, but his personality traits really aren't that different.
Though advertised as a thriller, The Deep End is more of a character drama than anything else. It is about a mother who will do anything to protect her son, including hiding a dead man, even though she doesn't even know whether her son actually committed the crime or not. It is also about this man who blackmails her, yet he begins to feel sorry for her as time goes on.
And this is where The Deep End gets into trouble. While I was expecting more of a twisty-turny kind of movie, which it definitely is not, I was more disappointed about the relationship between Swinton and Visnjic. It is completely unrealistic and unbelievable. This man has supposedly blackmailed people before, not to mention other crimes, yet he begins to feel for this woman for some reason or another. On the other hand, Swinton begins to feel for him, not necessarily in a romantic way, but in a way that makes you cringe in the movie's final moments. She has only known him two days; how can she shed tears over him?
The Deep End is more of a drama than a thriller, which is pretty disappointing, and the relationship between the two main characters is questionable, but it is still well done and has good acting.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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