"The Deep End" has been brought you by the Lake Tahoe Department of Commerce. No, really, it has!! I mean every scene in this movie is a wonderful picture of Lake Tahoe and its surroundings.
Deep End, The
Directors: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Producers: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Writers: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Features: Full Length Audio Commentary by Writers/Producers/Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel; "The Anatomy of a Scene" Sundance Channel Featurette; "Making of" Featurette; Still Photo Gallery; Theatrical Trailer and TV Spot; Anamorphic Widescreen (Aspect Ratio 2.35:1); Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround; Subtitles: English, Spanish
Margaret Hall - Tilda Swinton
Alek Spera - Goran Visnjic
Beau Hall - Jonathan Tucker
Jack Hall - Peter Donat
Nagel - Raymond J. Barry
Darby Reese - Josh Lucas
"The Deep End" has been brought you by the Lake Tahoe Department of Commerce. No, really, it has!! I mean every scene in this movie is a wonderful picture of Lake Tahoe and its surroundings. It screams, "Come to Lake Tahoe (and bring your money to gamble) !!!" Even so, the cinematography was superb with great panoramic views and tight shots that is very reminiscent of "In the Bedroom." In fact, I would argue that Swinton's ("The Beach") performance would rival Spacek's grieving mother role.
This disc is loaded with features. The full length commentary is very beneficial as David Siegel and Scott McGehee were involved in every aspect of the film. Their insights are worth listening to. The jewel of the features is in the Sundance featurette that does a great job of showing how each aspect of the film was done, even in the face of production problems. The "Making of" featurette is interesting in that it has plenty of cast interviews on how they felt when making the film.
The still gallery was nice because it also showed photos from behind the scenes, including the snow storm that plagued the production of the film (it was in the middle of May!!). The sound was nice and so was the picture and they complemented the cinematography seamlessly. The trailers were standard fare, but the other features are worth watching!!
"The Deep End" begins with Margaret Hall (Swinton) going to a gay night club called the Deep End. She tells her son's gay lover to stay away from him. Of course, we know that he won't. She later confronts her son, Beau (Tucker - "Sleepers"), asking him to talk to her. He lies about his gay relationship, obviously naive to the fact that she wouldn't know he was gay after being at the Deep End. He tells her to just let it go, and she decides to wait till her husband comes home from his carrier mission before dealing with her son.
Later, her son's lover, Darby (Lucas - "American Psycho") drops in unexpectedly. He arranges a rendevous with Beau in the boathouse. The two get in a fight and Beau ends up getting slightly injured, but escapes. Darby, not getting his fill of Beau, instead fills his stomach accidentally with the prong of an anchor. Good bye Darby!
Margaret wakes up in the morning and sees Darby's car and his dead body on the beach. She immediately assumes her son did it because she saw him upset and bruised the previous night. She then takes the burden upon herself and disposes of the body in the shallow end of Lake Tahoe. Problem solved, right? Oh, so wrong! Beau starts bickering at her and being suspiscious of her (he thinks she might have done it) when they later uncover Darby from the lake. And there is a mysterious man at the door.
Alek Spera (Visnjic - "er") and his partner Nagel (Barry - "Training Day") have come to blackmail Margaret. Darby owed them money, but now that he is dead they hope to get it from Margaret. They want her to pay them $50,000 dollars or they will deliver a tape to the Tahoe police. What's on the tape? Well, it sure as hell ain't "Bambi!" The tape briefly shows Beau using Darby's wee wee as a rectal suppository. Eeeeesh! Definitely not for the faint at heart!
Margaret realizes that she must come up with the money to protect her son, as a tape like this would draw suspicion on him (and her for disposing of the body). She must now try to handle her daily normal routine, keep the blackmailers at bay, while she finds time to scrounge up the money. Can she protect her son from the blackmailers? And is that romantic tension I sense from Margaret and Spera?
"The Deep End" is more drama than thriller, but it is done very well. There are some flaws in the movie, like the assumptions you must have while watching this. You must assume that the Tahoe police are incompetent and would not do a thorough investigation to link Beau and Margaret with Darby. You must also assume that the grandfather as an adult would be completely oblivious to the reality unfolding around him. He reminded me of that SNL spoof of Adm. Stockdale ("Who am I!! Why am I here!!"), though the actor did a good job. And you have to assume that a parent wouldn't have smacked Beau around for being so smarmy to his mother.
Oh, and you might want to go to the bathroom before watching this film! Almost every scene has a water theme to it. Even Darby's license plate on his car ironically says 6FT BLO. Regardless, the water theme does make for great scenery and mood. Some people complain that the characters are stupid, but you shouldn't expect a naive housewife like Margaret to suddenly develop a criminal mind. Though you or I might have done differently, she did what she could in a panicked situation. Anyways, you have to feel sorry for her by the middle of the film, as pressures from family and blackmailers mount. You almost imagine she wishes she could impale herself on an anchor just to get away!
This movie does have faults, but Swinton's performance carries the film. You really get into the tight shots of Margaret's expressions, and most viewers will understand the pain and anguish she is going through. I would rate "The Deep End" with four stars out of five, and say it is a recommended rent. If the subject matter doesn't bother you, it has enough great features to be a good buy.