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Class struggle and desperate love in '50s England
Terence Davies' film of Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea, a play dating from '50s England, captures the tensions between the stultified upper class and the lack of illusions of the working class. At the same time, it's a story that dramatizes the restricted position of women in the era. Hester, played with deep melancholy by a luminous Rachel Weisz, is married to William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale), a titled magistrate much her senior, and falls in love with Freddie (Tom Hiddleston), a former RAF pilot, and an engaging bloke with a cheeky indifference to the posh life she's been used to. It's a classic tale of a woman finding out, a bit late in life, what passionate attachment to a man feels like. When her husband discovers the affair, he leaves her on her own while stating that he will never give her a divorce.
By Donald Brown
April 17, 2012