The Deep End


If writer-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel were as handy with a keyboard as they are with a camera, this chilly noir would be worth cutting throats for. As it is, The Deep End is a diverting slice of style over substance, its visual obsession with the wet stuff leading to several striking images - - a water cooler bottle smashing asunder, Tilda Swinton spied through a tap-drip fisheye - that can't compensate for the damp plotting and dialogue. Swinton's a mother dragged into blackmail when she hides the body of her son's gay lover. Enter Goran Visnjic's handsome stranger, who demands $50,000 in exchange for an incriminating video tape. She starts scrabbling for the cash, while Visnjic - the wettest criminal in history - finds a conscience. The message: dabble in deception, you'll soon be out of your depth. Audience reaction: so?

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