Deep End (1970) Jerzy Skolimowski

Deep End (1970)
Genre: Coming Of Age
Country: West Germany | UK Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Language: English Subtitles: None
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 91mn
Bdrip H264 Mkv - 1280x692 - 23.976fps - 5.49gb

This earthy, unromanticized and fiercely unmawkish coming-of-age adolescent angst sleeper centers on awkward, gangly, sexually frustrated virginal blue collar klutz Mike (exceptionally played to moody, ungainly, temperamental perfection by "Vampire Circus" 's John Moulder-Brown), who gets a job as an attendant at a seedy bathhouse. Mike falls madly (and badly) in obsessive love/lust with loose, worldly and assured co-worker Susan (an excellent portrayal by enticing redhead looker Jane Asher), a wild and uninhibited sort whom the other employees hold in disregard. Alas, Mike's crush on Susan isn't shared by the flattered, but disinterested object of his increasingly batty desire.

Set in a very seamy, downcast and markedly unswingin' early 70's slum district of London (one wonderfully delirious sequence takes place in a garishly trashy Times Square-like urban cesspool area), this remarkably fine film is more notable not for what it does, but for what it refreshingly doesn't do: there's no crude sophomoric humor or cheap goopy sentiment, the picture doesn't cop-out with a phony baloney everything-works-out-quite-nicely happy ending, the characters are extremely complex and not always appealing (e.g., the initially endearing Mike becomes less likable and more obnoxious as the story unfolds), and a firmly droll and wry, albeit still fairly sympathetic tone is deftly maintained throughout. Director/co-screenwriter Jerry Skolimowski expertly creates a richly textured and utterly plausible lived-in dreariness and tawdriness, punctuating the basically sober mood and grimy authenticity with occasional moments of hilariously bawdy humor (former 50's blonde bombshell Diana Dors has a sidesplitting cameo as an overweight, aggressively libidinous middle-aged frump who brings herself to an intense orgasm by talking excitedly to Mike about soccer). The bathhouse regulars are especially well-drawn: they're lonely, crotchety, down on their luck everyday folks who are desperate for attention and affection. Charly Steinberger's polished, yet naturalistic cinematography masterfully uses the color red to convoy a wealth of emotions: rage, anger, passion, confusion and ultimately despair. Terrific pounding proto-heavy metal score by Cat Stevens and the Can, too. A sadly forgotten and undervalued gem.
Deep End (1970)

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