27 March 2012 | howardeisman
Wonderful for the right audience
i saw this with twenty something people. This was not a movie for them, but it is a most superior film for older people who have seen people live torturous lives. Why people do things that hurt themselves is a intriguing question which fascinates psychologists and artists alike. No one has come up with a satisfactory answer, not even a plausible one, and Freud leads the list of the clueless. Thus, Hester (played by a wonderful Rachel Weisz) can fascinate those of us who care about the inner working and emotional vicissitudes of a self destructive woman and who will learn about the human condition by considering her behavior. Simon Beale and Tom Hiddleston, the men in her life, are equally impressive performers playing equally limited (Beale) and troubled (Hiddleston) persons.
First, I think most people don't know where the title comes from. A song popular during the second world war (a recent event in this film), has the line "we're caught between perdition and the deep blue sea." This is an apt description of the three protagonists.
This film might be quite tedious for those in a hurry to move on with their lives. The three main characters are stuck and seem to have no capacity for getting unstuck. This is tough to contemplate if you can't wait for your tomorrow's great triumph, or if you see romance as a smooth road to your personal paradise.
The rest of us are mesmerized as these troubled lives unfold on screen. Yes, the mood and physical atmosphere are almost relentlessly dark (it needn't have been); The film is completely without humor, and it is much too slow moving. These are minor difficulties. The script and performances are magnificent.