Watch Deep End
- 1 hr 30 min
Deep End is a 1970 British drama film, directed by Jerzy Skolimowski and starring Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, and Karl Michael Vogler. The film is set in London during the swinging sixties, and it follows the life of 15-year-old schoolboy Mike, who takes a job at a swimming pool after failing to get into college. Mike soon becomes infatuated with his beautiful colleague Susan, and his teenage naivety sees him confused and desperate for her attention.
The film starts off with an upbeat, lively soundtrack, which reflects the post-war optimism of the 60s. The opening credits are accompanied by clips of London's busy streets, packed with people carrying out their daily activities. The shots capture the vibrancy of London's youth culture, showcasing young people's fashion, their sense of exuberance, and freedom. Both the soundtrack and visuals set the tone for the film, and it becomes clear that the character of Mike shares the same sort of enthusiasm for life.
The director does well to capture the mood of the era from the start, with the film's setting being the disused swimming pool in the heart of the city, which becomes a place of refuge for characters from the outside world. The pool provides an escape for Mike and Susan, who enjoy a swim together in the privacy of the back room. Mike's infatuation with Susan builds from here, and the audience is left wondering if their relationship will progress further.
Jane Asher plays the character of Susan, who is seen as the confident, attractive and reserved one. In contrast, Moulder-Brown plays Mike, who is portrayed as shy and nervous, only coming out of his shell when joking with a colleague. The two character arcs intertwine, showing how Susan is aware of Mike's admiration but fails to reciprocate the feeling, while Mike becomes increasingly infatuated and disillusioned.
The film is engaging and emotive, with the soundtrack playing a big role in setting the tone. It captures the different moods and emotional states of the character well. However, the narrative is not overly compelling, and the plot progression is somewhat slow. The film does not have a clear villain, making the audience sympathize with characters in different ways, depending on whether they agree with their actions.
The acting is superb, especially from Asher, who gives a convincing performance as a confident and charming woman. Vogler, who plays Susan's older lover, is another standout performance, portraying the character's coldness and manipulation thoroughly. Vogler's character is a reminder of the darker side of the era, where older men would prey on younger women. The film is a commentary on the time, highlighting the seduction and exploitation of young women by older, more powerful men.
The cinematography is top-notch, making effective use of the film's two main settings: the swimming pool and the surrounding streets. The swimming pool is shot with a softness and warmth, highlighting the romantic tension between Mike and Susan. In contrast, London's busy streets are captured with a sharpness and intensity, emphasizing the harshness and competition of city life.
The film uses metaphorical imagery to communicate the themes of disillusionment and disillusionment. The scene in which Mike cleans a dirty drain is an excellent example, reflecting the main character's sense of being trapped by his job, while simultaneously being unable to break free from his obsession with Susan. The pool itself is a metaphor, symbolizing Mike's desire to immerse himself in the object of his affection, while also representing the superficiality and artificiality of his attraction.
The climax of the film is intense, and the ending is satisfying, with the theme of disillusionment remaining a central message throughout. The story is not solely focused on Mike's infatuation with Susan; it explores broader themes of unfulfilled dreams, the trappings of modern-day society, and the ensuing disillusionment that comes with realizing things are not always as they seem.
In conclusion, Deep End is a well-made film that captures the essence, both visually and emotionally, of the era. It touches on the complex social issues of the time, drawing attention to the exploitation of young women and the moral confusion that permeated a society in flux. Although it may not be for everyone, for those who take the time to appreciate its intricacies, Deep End offers a unique and thought-provoking experience.
Deep End is a 1970 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.