As I try to see a series of cult films I’ve missed over the years, Deep End kept coming up in conversations and in searches online. I finally got to see it and while it’s a film definitely of it’s time, I’m not as enamoured of it as others have been.
Warning: contains spoilers
A sometimes funny, certainly tragic story, this film follows the life of 15 year old Mike and his obsession with his older co-worker Susan in a sleazy bath house in swinging London. We never do see a swinging side of London, just the underside of it which in this case is a plus for the story telling. Another high point of the production is the actor who plays Mike looks 15 years old and not like in most films, a 20 years old playing a teenager.
No one in this film is very likeable... including Mike who we are supposed to identify with. Sure he’s a typical kid with a crush but he’s as creepy as the gym teacher his love interest (who is engaged) is having an affair with. The clients of the bath house are not the most normal of people as you might imagine either but they do provide comic relief and a little pity depending on your point of view.
The performances are appropriately awkward and all the minor characters pull in solid performances. I didn’t find anything special with the photography. I should say i saw an old copy of the film and not a restored version. I’ve seen stills form a cleaner, better print and they looks 100 times better than the print I viewed.
I did the find the ending... odd. To say the least. The very least. In a nutshell, the two principals have sex in the empty pool which means everything to Mike but nothing to Susan. In his rage and as the pool fills with water after a custodian starts to fill it not realizing people are in the pool, Mike swings a heavy light into Susan... cracking open her head. She slides into the water unconscious and he fucks her dead or dying body. So the character we are meant to sympathize with is a killer necrophiliac. He makes no effort to save her life at all.
Not a bad film by any means and has it’s interesting points but I found the whole thing very hard to relate to on any level. Maybe that was the point.. this characters can’t really even relate to themselves, but the end seen was more confusing than anything in my view.