‘Deep End’ flails in shallow waters

Two couples, intertwining passion, hidden secrets, deserted summer landscapes and nude bodies make up Thanassis Antoniou’s feature film «Deep End.» Its director describes it an «erotic thriller» and it may actually be just this. But whichever way you mix the words to define it, the result is an all too familiar one. Forget all about the films that usually come to mind when thinking of an erotic thrillers though, such as «Basic Instinct,» and brace yourself for a comic-book-like take on the genre. Because as «Deep End» rolls on you gradually warm to the idea that the coarse feel and aesthetics, and the unrefined performances, are not accidental but the intention of the director. The two leading male characters, played by Alekos Syssovitis and Costas Sommer, compete on every level; not just in comparing muscle tone, but in every glance, every innuendo-seeped twitch. Meanwhile, Maria Korinthiou oozes sensuality and good looks, as she ought to, as her character is the object of desire and the coveted prize of the two male protagonists. And that is pretty much it. This is where the critic simply gives up and the spectator chooses what to keep and what not to retain of the story. «Deep End» is seriously at risk of becoming a caricature of erotic thrillers, but somehow manages to slip between the cracks and defy categorization.