Deep Water Review & Ending Explained : What’s Happened ?

Deep Water was a film that had everything it needed to succeed on paper. It featured the return of Adrian Lyne, the director after a 20 year hiatus, as well as two charismatic leads in Ana de Armas and Ben Affleck (who were also dating at the time). The film’s lead couple, lacks chemistry. This is a shocking lack for an “erotic thriller”. It also has a confusing climax which more or less saps the tension that had been building throughout the story. Let’s look at the ending of Deep Water, and how it differs from the Patricia Highsmith book that the film is based on.

Deep Water Review

Deep Water Review

There is a lot of pressure on Adrian Lyne’s “Deep Water”, a film that was basically thrown onto Hulu by Disney buying Fox. Hulu had no tolerance for movies about horny people. Many people have speculated that this project would be a return to “movies that appeal to adults,” a genre that has been lost in the studio production lines. Almost every movie must now have a PG-13 rating. It’s also the first film from “Fatal Attraction” in 20 years, which could lead to disappointment.

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Is this going to make the “Make Movies Sexy Again” crowd more open to the story-telling possibilities in “Deep Water”? Early reviews were divided and it’s clear that this film feels like it has been through editing hell. I would love to see the reportedly longer version, as there is a lot of good stuff here, including the great Ben Affleck performance. Also, it offers the kind of sexual tension that Americans don’t offer in 2020.

Based on the 1957 novel of Patricia Highsmith (the genius who also wrote A Train of Strangers and The Talented Miss Ripley), which should give an idea of the games being played, “Deep Water”, “Deep Water”, doesn’t waste any time with the “happy times” of the Van Allen union. Vic Van Allen (Affleck), and his wife Melinda are deep in the pain of a failed marriage. Although they have stayed together for Trixie ( Grace Jenkins), it seems that there is little love between them.

Deep Water Review

Melinda is drunk at a party and has a brief affair with a young man she invited to the event. Vic and Melinda have a brief moment together. He tells Vic that he killed Melinda’s last lover. Is he really lying? He claims he is the next day, but the fundamental machination of Zach Helm (“Stranger Than Fiction”) & Sam Levinson (“Euphoria”) has already been in motion: Melinda cheats and Vic may kill the men with whom Melinda cheats.

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Don Wilson ( Tracy Letts), believes this is what is going on. Helm & Levinson aren’t taking enough time to sell him the plot. Is this why this man is spending so much time and capital on his theory that Vic is a killer? He mentions a book near the end. However, Don and Vic get heated about Van Allen’s money, the drone technology that is used in warfare. Is Vic adamant that human life is disposable? There is a fascinating theme to “Deep Water”, about two people who are very different, but use the same men.

Melinda uses men for pleasure as well as her husband’s anger. At one point, she says that she does this because of how they make her feel. These are selfish creatures. They give in to basic instincts in a way that moral people can’t suppress.

Deep Water Review

Affleck captures this simmering selfishness beautifully, which is a fitting fit for the world of Tom Ripley. In the way he captures Vic’s temperature and how it rises each time he meets Melinda, there are many echoes to Affleck’s work in ” Gone Girl”. Vic doesn’t give up. Even though the script’s final act hints at darker themes, it is still a good example of how Affleck and De Armas can sell psychosexual dysfunction in a way other actors would not have.

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Lyne is a master at using their sexual chemistry and physical beauty on-screen. This reminds viewers of how rare it is to see this type of thing between movie stars. I would also like to say that I love how Lil Rel Howery keeps popping up lately and is so effective in small parts (he has appeared in two SXSW films this season, “I Love My Dad”, and “Spin Me Round”)). His talents are a great asset to those who want to play a supportive role.

Deep Water ending explained

Deep Water ending explained

Deep Water’s running time follows a repetitive pattern. Melinda (Ana de Armas), who is a young woman, finds a man to have an affair with. She does this gleefully in the presence of Vic (Ben Affleck), before they both meet their end. The film opens with Martin McRae. Although he does not appear in it, we are told that he was reported missing recently.

Vic claims that Martin disappeared because he killed him, in an early scene. Although it’s unclear at this stage if Vic is lying or playing with his rival, it does spook the young man who soon excuses himself and flees town.

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Melinda is not satisfied with the man she has chosen to marry, Charlie De Lisle, played by Jacob Elordi of Euphoria. Charlie drowns in the pool at a private party, and Vic is the first person to suspect him. Vic is publicly accused by Melinda (Tracy Letts) and Don Wilson (Tracy Letts). Vic is a novelist who has recently moved to the area but has not taken much notice of Vic.

Deep Water ending explained

Vic manages to ignore any police interest and Melinda soon turns her attention to Tony, her ex-boyfriend. Vic pulls Tony into his truck one day and informs him that he is taking him to a site that might be of interest. But it soon becomes clear that he has less generous intentions. He takes Tony to the spot, where he and Melinda used to spend a lot of time. After beating him with a rock he leaves his body in a nearby canyon.

Melinda suggests that the family go to the Gorge for a day. Trixie and Melinda don’t see Vic’s body but Vic is clearly scared to death. Melinda discovers Tony’s wallet in Vic’s private lab and this fear quickly becomes a reality.

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Vic is now back at the gorge to hide his body, but Don soon arrives to intercept him. Don clearly realizes that there is something wrong. Don drives off to inform the police and shouts “Come get us now, you piece of s**t!” as Vic frantically attempts to keep up with his bike. However, Vic falls in front his car, forcing Don to veer off-road. Don then falls to his death.

Deep Water ending explained

Vic returns home to find Melinda waiting for his return. She teases Vic by telling him she “saw Tony”, but we discover that instead of going to the police carrying Tony’s wallet, she had burned all his ID cards and destroyed the evidence.

They are in it together now, and the dark game of cat-and-mouse is what keeps the spark alive in their relationship.

Deep Water End Credits Scene explained

Deep Water End Credits Scene explained

Mid-credits scene in Deep Water shows Vic and Melinda’s daughter Trixie Van Alle (Grace Jenkins), seated in the backseat.

As she color in her coloring book, she can be seen singing along with “You make me feel as dancing” by Leo Sayer.

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This cute scene is lighthearted and amusing, but it also contains a dark undercurrent because Trixie is being raised in a toxic home with a serial killer’s wife and his narcissistic husband.

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Does Deep Water’s ending match the book?

Does Deep Water's ending match the book?

Deep Water, a novel by Patricia Highsmith features Don Wilson who discovers Vic is murdering Melinda’s love interests and makes contact with her.

Vic learns from Melinda that Vic is a murderer and she tells Vic she spoke to Wilson.

Vic strangles Melinda to death and Melinda is left with nothing but pain, as opposed to the film.

Wilson and the police arrive quickly at Van Allen’s home. Vic’s arrest is therefore imminent.

Does Deep Water's ending match the book?

The final lines of the novel depict Vic seeing them approach: “He smiled at Wilson’s grim, resentful, the-world-owes-me-a-living face, which was the reflection of the small, dull mind behind it, and Vic cursed it and all it stood for.

“Silently, with a smile, with all that was left, he cursed it.”

Deep Water will be available on Prime Video UK on Friday, March 18th 2022. You can find more Movies coverage at our Movies page. Check out our guide to the top Netflix movies or our TV Guide to check what’s happening tonight.

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