Vic Van Allen is a man who decides to keep quiet despite knowing all about his wife’s partners. Because a divorce may traumatise his 12-year-old daughter, he is an introvert who prefers to let his wife have her fair share of lovers. Vic and Melinda are a couple that share a home but are very different from one another, and this is how Deep Water starts. Vic’s face has a hint of melancholy, while Melinda beams with happiness. She will likely meet an old flame today or find someone new who will be more interesting than her uninteresting tech-genius husband. Vic is aware of Melinda’s affair, as are all of his close friends, but the question is whether Vic will ever speak out against it. Or will he continue to pretend nothing ever happened?
Adrian Lyne is the director of the movie, which is based on a book by Patricia Highsmith. The screenplay was revised by Zach Helm and Sam Levinson, who maintained true to the basic plot while altering the conclusion to give it a deeper psychological edge. So without further ado, let’s investigate the film’s depths.
Warning: Major Spoilers
Deep Water Plot Summary
Computer engineer Vic Van Allen (Ben Affleck) created sensor chips for drones that enable them to find people. The US government is utilising his invention to create war drones that might aid them in waging war in Middle Eastern nations. But because to this drone chip, Vic has made enough money to live comfortably. He now resides in a quiet New Orleans suburb with his wife Melinda (Ana de Armas) and their daughter Trixie. Vic has established a tiny nursery in his home’s back shed and spends the majority of his time practising heliculture.
Vic and Melinda are invited to a party at Jess and Grantz’s home, where Melinda meets her current boyfriend, Joel Dash, and Deep Water gets started. She leaves her boring spouse in a flash and hangs out with Joel, kissing him by the pool. Vic watches his wife have a sexual encounter with another guy before talking to Joel and claiming to have killed Martin McRae, Melinda’s former partner. Joel exits the party right away after feeling intimidated. Nearly all of Vic and Melinda’s shared friends learn of Vic’s assertion that he killed Martin McRae with a hammer through Joel, which Vic later says was a sarcastic joke he played on Joel. Joel, however, quits the city right away to begin his new job in Mexico out of dread of Vic, and as soon as Joel leaves, Melinda introduces Charlie De Lisle, another boyfriend (Jacob Elordi).
Vic chooses not to divorce Melinda out of concern for his daughter, but he becomes envious of her various partners and becomes irate. He wants to take action in response to his wife’s affair but finds the motivation puzzling. The psychological conflict between the couple is further explored in Deep Water as they attempt to stay together despite discovering each other’s terrible secrets.
Why Did Melinda Start Seeing Different Men?
Melinda occasionally referred to her husband as dull. Vic, on the other hand, was a touch reserved and introverted rather than boring. Melinda thought he was cold, so they shared a room while they slept. Vic was likely Melinda’s companion because he was wealthy and the father of her daughter Trixie. She resolved to have fun outside of her marriage despite living with a dull man under the same roof since these romantic escapades ignited a passion within of her. The men Melinda mixed with were stupid, but they were entertaining.
Vic, on the other hand, delighted Melinda whenever he did anything unusual, and the two made love. Vic declined Melinda’s request to dance with her during Jess and Grantz’s party, most likely out of nervousness. Vic was later asked to dance by Kelly Wilson, the wife of pulp author Don Wilson, during another house party, and he didn’t refuse. Melinda was not only envious of Vic dancing with Kelly, but her desire for her husband, whom she saw in another woman’s arms, was also awakened.
However, Melinda soon began dating Charlie De Lisle, her piano teacher, after this love and desire fizzled out. Vic tried to prevent Melinda from seeing Charlie, but when she didn’t show up for a night, Vic sent her daughter away and ultimately made the decision to confront Melinda. Vic yelled at Melinda at that moment for her infidelity, and perhaps Melinda wanted Vic to face her, but he chose not to. Vic was letting his wife act carefree, in her opinion, either because their marriage lacked passion or because he no longer loved her. Vic wasn’t assertive enough to stop Melinda the way he should have, perhaps because he was too bashful or worried about losing her. Melinda may have wanted to fit in or have someone to romantically tame her wild spirit. Instead, in an effort to keep Melinda’s lover away from his wife, he began killing him. Two people could have resolved a basic lack of passion through discourse, but instead, one chose to kill time while the other chose to stick around.
Deep Water Ending Explained Why Didn t Melinda Leave Her Husband?
Vic killed Charlie during an isolated pool party at night after failing to prevent Melinda from seeing Charlie. Vic and Charlie were by themselves in the pool when Don Wilson (Tracy Letts), a nosy pulp-fiction writer, walked by. Vic thought he might have killed Charlie the same way he claimed to have killed Martin McRae. Even Melinda was beginning to question her husband’s mental stability at this time, and she accused him of murder in front of the police. The police, however, cleared Vic’s name because there was no supporting documentation.
But Don and Melinda weren’t ready to let Vic go, so they hired private investigator David Ricigliani to compile evidence against him. Melinda ran into Tony Cameron (Finn Wittrock), an old flame, and began seeing him once more, making him Vic’s next target. Vic killed him after taking him to a hiking location in some woods close to the Gorge. Tony’s body was taken into the stream, where he fastened stones to it to make him sink deeper into the water.
Melinda felt ghosted when Tony vanished without telling her, and she tried to reason that since none of her casual relationships lasted for very long, perhaps she should remain faithful to the man who had stuck by her through good times and bad. Melinda got close to Vic again, but it wasn’t simply because the lovers had vanished; with each murder, Vic’s behaviour changed in a more obvious way. Melinda wished for Vic to be more passionate and domineering.
Vic learned that Tony’s body had turned up while the family was visiting the Gorge. Vic made the decision to take care of Tony’s body the next day because he had finally won his wife’s affection and full attention and he couldn’t allow one error land him in jail. But Don Wilson suddenly materialised in the woods and began interrogating Vic as he was attempting to drown the body with a wooden stick. Tony’s hand abruptly appeared in the water, and Don realised that Vic was really a psychopath. Vic pursued Don as he attempted to escape in a car and stopped him. Vic was riding his bicycle in the dense woods in a chase when he unintentionally fell in front of Don’s automobile. Don lost control of the car as he tried to turn away from Vic and it crashed down a cliff, killing his life in the process.
When Don and Vic first met, Don informed Vic about a movie story about a noir fiction writer who unearths a big conspiracy in his town. Don also unearths a series of killings, just like in his tale, but sadly, the truth also claims his life. Don may have written a novel in which the author triumphs, but Deep Water is clearly not that tale.
Melinda entered Vic’s nursery when he was away and discovered Tony’s wallet. That implied that Vic actually played a role in Tony’s disappearance, and based on Vic’s prior behaviour, Melinda felt certain that Vic also killed him. When Trixie dumped her mother’s baggage into the pool and resisted leaving the house, she made an attempt to depart. Even at this point, Melinda was persuaded to stay or at least had her decision influenced by Trixie’s words, which had an air of aggressiveness. Melinda was seated in the same location on the steps as when we first saw her in the movie when Vic got home. She quietly revealed to Vic that she had met Tony, implying that she was aware of Vic’s secret but had chosen not to share it. Melinda burns Tony’s wallet (together with his IDs) in the final shot to destroy all the evidence that points to Vic.
By the end of Deep Water, Melinda was certain of one thing: Vic was passionate, despite his apparent coldness. He was enigmatic as well as passionate. That made her happy. Vic’s fascination with snails provided insight into a further aspect of his hidden psyche. Even though he adored those snails and could feel their skin against his as they crawled around his finger, he didn’t hesitate to eat them. Vic had assured Tony that his snails were not meant for consumption, but a slight cut on the way to the Gorge showed a box at the rear of his vehicle that was packed with empty snail shells, raising the possibility that Vic had in fact eaten his prized critters.
Will Vic Kill Melinda Too?
When Melinda learns of Vic’s psychotic killings in the original text (Patricia Highsmith’s novel), Vic strangles her to death in order to evade capture. But he doesn’t in the movie (at least by the end of the film). The underlying cause is revealed in a moment where Vic asks Melinda why she isn’t afraid of him if she believes he killed Charlie. At this point, Melinda implies that she is aware of the fact that he killed for her and is therefore assured that he will never harm her.
Melinda might get tired of Vic once again or lose interest in the relationship, which might lead her to cheat once more. However, Vic will kill once more to prevent other guys from seeing his wife. If Melinda or Vic commits an act of violence, it may cause their marriage to rekindle its passion, which is morally dubious yet acceptable. If this happens repeatedly, the spiral may continue indefinitely. At the very least, we can categorise it as pulp fiction.
Adrian Lyne is the director of the 2022 mystery drama film Deep Water.