Ana de Armas has been posting on Instagram about sunsets, night shoots, and her dog for the past week, but she hasn’t mentioned her new film once. It’s easy to see why: Deep Water was the film that brought her and Ben Affleck together.
Is it acceptable to pine for the days of the nymphomaniac film? The lady who “simply can’t help herself” becomes a magnet for both men’s and women’s desire and scorn? Though it’s not easier to think of her as a backward, anti-feminist figure, perhaps we should be honoring her instead, if only to release her from the shackles of being an obvious scapegoat for masculine insecurities. Is it possible to make nymphomaniacs fun again?
That is how their relationship works. And, hey, if it works, it’s a win-win situation. Vic then threatens one of Melinda’s boy-toys, joking that he murdered one of her past boyfriends. Tracy Letts’ character, a local smartie writer, begins to wonder aloud and to himself, “Is Vic joking?” The movie hangs by the thought bubble like a clumsy, big thundercloud.
Meanwhile, Melinda consumes excessive alcohol, undresses in front of the babysitter, and nearly falls atop a neighbor’s grand piano. Girl, it’s time to party! Who can say no to her when she’s standing in front of you?
Vic absorbs his humiliation, both public and private, with hangdog calm. Until he doesn’t, that is. But there’s nothing in Deep Water that you don’t figure out within the first 30 minutes, which appears to be on purpose. (The script’s writing by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson is rooted in Patricia Highsmith’s novel.) The did-he-or-didn’t-he question is beside the point; the film is more concerned with allowing us to marvel at Melinda and Vic’s bizarre mind games.
Wonder why he puts up with it while Melinda repeats her hallmark actions of giggling, pouting, and guzzling wine from whatever glass is available.