Before proceeding with this article, please note that the writer has tried her hardest to include innuendoes and puns throughout the article. For the sake of her satisfaction, please do acknowledge how great they are. Cannot say the same for the movie she is writing about though.
Erotica. A genre that is currently whispered about and dominated by Fifty Shades of Grey. For readers, their most embarrassing secret is their Wattpad phase. For cinephiles, it is having watched Wattpad adaptations. Though, those adaptations could never be like Wattpad books. If you are a novice, you might not know which movies are actually Wattpad and were originally written as a guilty erotica pleasures on Wattpad. Some of them are the After series, The Duff and Kissing Booth. While on-screen they are pretty decent, their books are everything but. So erotica isn’t the most well-explored genre in the industry.
When Fifty Shades of Grey did release, it took the world by storm because no one did adaptations like that on such a scale before. It was something new. Since then many have tried but their success hasn’t been that great. After series is the biggest crime in the industry. So when I was informed by a friend of mine about the adaptation of erotica which will be starring celebrities like Ben Affleck and Ana De Armas, I obviously shrugged and said that they couldn’t be directly adapting it. I was so confident that I didn’t even do prior research about the movie and blindly sat down to watch it. Completely unprepared for the journey this movie was going to be. Specifically the robust path it was going to take.
Patricia Highsmith’s Deep Water
Deep Water, starring Ana and Ben is based on a novel of the same name written by Patricia Highsmith. Though it was written in 1957, a year when Wattpad didn’t exist, one can bet their entire lives and fortune that if it did, Highsmith would have published it there first. The book is the fifth by Highsmith and though it got lost for a couple of years, it was brought back to print in the US by W. W. Norton and Company in 2003.
An important clarification here is that it is not a compulsion for eroticas to not have a plot. You will be surprised by how many eroticas are actually written with a storyline. While my research is limited to a small sample size, I confidently assure you that books with a spicy theme also have several other subplots. Take mystery for example. Murder is usually used as a plot driver in this genre because it does keep the viewer/reader on the edge and builds the climax really well.
Deep Water Plot Explained
Deep Water is a murder mystery too. It is about Melinda (Ana) who has multiple affairs and is open about it to her husband, Vic (Ben). She almost flaunts all her relationships with other men in front of him and in an odd and probably kinky way, Vic watches over her. Melinda and all her partners meet at some sort of a party which goes to say that the opinion of their friend circle also does not affect her choice.
While no one but Vic has directly questioned her about the line of affairs, their mutual friends have pointedly asked Vic about how he feels about it multiple times. There is a pressure on him to be feeling angry and sad. From the first affair that we see her have with Joel (Brendan Miller), we know that Vic isn’t as comfortable with this as he tries to be. He threatens Joel in the most Batman way possible. Ben is not able to distance himself from that role. He doesn’t need to because like Bruce, Vic too is pretty successful. Both financially and otherwise.
Joel soon disappears from the movie. Moving on speedily (and in the most racy way possible) Melinda has a new boy toy. Ricky (Jacob Elordi) is a young musician with who she goes on a drive. Their ride gave several results, most I cannot mention but one being Vic getting restless. He confronts Melinda about her whereabouts of the night and when she does offer to give every excruciating detail, he retreats. Though he does mention that he noticed she didn’t have her ring. She calls their life a game, one which she is clearly winning.
As mentioned before, all the affairs have something or the other to do with a party. Ricky is invited to a brunch, which evolves into a pool party and then he dies. Drowns to be precise. Melinda this time does not take her sweet time to rile her husband up. She goes right to it and accuses him of the murder in front of the cops. It is here that I realized that the camera people had the hardest job in the movie. When they were not adjusting angles for car scenes or pool party shenanigans, they are taking interesting shots like framing the cops face in between the horns of a hunted animal. Vic is being interrogated by the cops but based on some “pieces of evidence” and observations that he provides for himself, he is off the hook.
Now apart from the creepy observations, Vic is also curiously interested in snails. Throughout the movie, we see snails. For the erotic scenes, the biggest competitor in the movie, in regards to screen time are the snails. I say curiously because there is no proper understanding of their point even after the movie gets over. If it was to add more edge to Vic or make him creepier then it was unnecessary. Ben Affleck was straight-faced throughout the movie.
Eating the Snails
When Melinda brings her third affair home, he is straight-faced. The one time he did show emotion though was when the third affair, Nick (Finn Wittrock) suggested eating the snails. Nick can eat anything out but the snails. By now, we all know that Nick is going to die. We all hope it will have something to do with snails but he dies by being hit on the head with a stone. The river that Vic discards the body in is also the one Melinda decides to take him back to along with their daughter.
While the daughter is inching closer to the river, her parents are inching closer to their own highs. Melinda distracted by her husband’s talented handwork, is left midway when Vic suddenly rushes to the river. The suspense here now is that the river is shallow enough for the discarded body to be visible. Realizing that the daughter might see it, he takes her back to the field. Realizing that anyone might see the body, Vic returns back to the scene. This time though it is Melinda watching over the snails.
Deep Water Ending Explained
In the snail’s living area, she finds her third affair’s wallet and realizes that all her affairs disappeared and death is by her husband. Shocking. She directs a writer (whose role in the movie is also not clearly understandable except to be at the beck and call of Melinda) to the river. The writer finds Vic towering over a dead body. The reveal is followed by a car chase leaving the writer dead and Vic back at his home tired. Melinda is waiting there for him. Rephrasing an earlier point, this movie ends with the moral that murder might be an aphrodisiac to people who anyway have everything.
This is an example of an erotica that had no point. The ending was as vague as half of the elements in the movie like the snails, the writer and briefly a private investigator. Rightfully so, the movie is getting any of their views because of the cast. Ana De Armas did a lot. Or how much ever she could with the role. The movie was highly predictable even if it was not clear at all.
The Movie Culture Synopsis
The only reason to watch Deep Water is if you want solely an erotica. If you don’t care about a plotline or don’t need anything to make sense then this is the movie for you.