Film Review: The Deep

The Deep

Based on a true story, The Deep is an absorbing tale of survival.

Fisherman Gulli and his colleagues set off on a trawl in the rough waters of the North Atlantic. When the bot capsizes, Gulli must fight against the odds of the freezing ocean to survive…

The true events at the heart of The Deep is the reason it is so watchable. It is an incredible tale, yet it really occurred. Director Baltasar Kormákur executes the story with the right blend of tension, emotion and a little humour.

The Deep differentiates itself from other films in a similar vein, 127 Hours for example. In this survival tale, the conclusion is not the reaching of safety. Instead, The Deep provides viewers with an aftermath of such a dramatic event. This is something not often offered by films of this ilk.

What makes Gulli an interesting protagonist is the fact that he is so normal. There is nothing to distinguish the character from the others on the boat. Even following such life-changing events, Gulli remains down to earth; a factor that makes him more likeable.

A strong religious vein runs through The Deep. This is most prominent through the repetition of prayers at various points. Given the unexplainable nature of what occurred, Kormákur indicates the point of view most locals took.

The cinematography of The Deep is good. There is some excellent composition, and a restrained palette for some scenes which is rather striking. Kormákur directs the disaster sequence fine, but direction is stronger in the land scenes. The brief depiction of London appears inauthentic; scenes of the arrival here could have easily been omitted.

The central performance by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson is strong. His protrayal of Gulli is solid and often understated, which seems a perfect fit for the character.

Overall, The Deep is an engrossing film that reinforces the saying that truth is stranger than fiction.