Disclaimer: there are SPOILERS here, so don’t be a fool.
This is The Deep End. Mike is a 15 year old that gets a job at a bath house and gets trained by a sexy 22 year old named Susan. For some reason Wikipedia has it written that she’s 10, which blew my mind until I found a more credible plot summary. She’s a fully formed early adult; 10 years old would be patently untrue.
Anyway, Mike’s parents stop by and they’re both totally normal. Susan doesn’t like Mike’s mom because Mike’s mom is present and alive, in contrast to Susan’s mom who is neither. (I don’t think dad is ever mentioned, but I’ll leave that omission to my dawgs on Psychoanalysis Blvd)
There are causal connections or correlation writer/director Jerzy Skolimowski makes, consciously or no (I would not believe him if he said “no”) out of these motherly circumstances. Turns out Mike is the Blessed Virgin Prude and Susan is actually the Whore Of Babylon.
2. Maker’s Mark
I know nothing about writer/director Jerzy Skolimowski. But I’m going to assume that the author of his Wikipedia page (perhaps him, perhaps his publicist, perhaps some English-speaking Polski) isn’t misinformed to claim that Jerzy saw some atrocities of World War II. That he was rescued from a bombed out building. Or that his father was executed by Nazis. Or that his mother harbored Jews in the safety of her home, and that he was there for the whole thing.
His father died and his mother survived, and from the descriptions of her actions, she sounds highly virtuous (hell, they both do, but dad’s gone, so mom’s the word). Given these things, which I assume based on gullibility to be true, I would think it abnormal for Jerzy not to have a deep connection with mother. Mother would have had a lot of influence in his life as the one parent, being the singular life-giving force guiding him in any way she could. And therein probably existed a lot of pressure.
3. Bachmann-Palin Overdrive
Mike slowly comes to find just how “loose” Susan is. Loose, of course, relative to the mores of A Good Society With Good Values, or: articulated relevantly – The Society That Raised Mike, or: stretching it well beyond the realistic boundaries of my knowledge – The Mother That Raised Jerzy. Eh, I can’t go there, I don’t know anything about it. But anyway, about Susan and her promiscuity: Mike still loves her, her still he loves, lo despite all these sexy revelations that make him so sick to his stomach, he loves her still.
And so his attraction becomes two-pronged: he wants to possess her, and he wants to be her. Maybe more accurately, he wants to possess her so that he can be her. He wants to know what it’s like to live the life she does by inserting himself into it, in a way that’s just as much physical as emotional.
4. Some Would Rather Feel Nothing
The film is forwarded by emotion, many of the actions being symbolic for the emotion of the Yearn. Because of this, an action’s consequence is occasionally slight and occasionally severe, even though the boot doesn’t always fit the foot that demands it.
For example: Mike sexually harasses Susan in a porno theatre with her “fiance” heel sitting right next to her transfixed by a number of tits that aren’t his lovers. One might assume that this would end badly. Probably would in real life. But it actually ends quite well, because it’s not a literal thing.
The real consequences are on the emotional realm – this groping action forwards the plot by upping the ante. Mike wants that sweet thing more now, having licked Bark of Tree of Knowledge. As in any young relationship, once a certain base is reached, the steps to reach the next base are ever bolder. (…I guess I can only speak for men on that.)
Skipping to the final example: the emotional jizz bucket you can’t mop up once you’ve kicked it over. Somebody has to die in consequence for the “indiscretion” of having sex. In a way both of them actually do. Jerzy — I mean Mike cries out for his mother. He’s betrayed her; all that virtue for nothing. All that pressure to do the right thing, and his humanity cracks him, and he doesn’t mean to swing a large, potentially-lethal object at Susan, but he sort of does mean to, and he does do it, and now I assume he pays his sin of sexing: serving hard time in a clink. Oh, and he’s probably going to burn in Hell.
4. Nice Guys Finish – Not Last – But rather… oh no, not yet…! ngh! i’m sorry! oh.. oh god… shhh, it’s ok… happens to all guys
But that’s another story. This one is about the Yearn, or, if you hold your breath while driving through tunnels like I do, the emotion of the Wish. It’s the build-up to whatever you want to view the next stage as, whether it’s the clink, or Manhood, or the ability to run for President. It’s just that teenage wish. It’s a masturbation fantasy, and I would say that it’s one of the best representations of one in a medium that’s nauseatingly full of them. It’s honest, shamelessly depicting a shame that’s prevalent in The Good Society Built On Family Values – whose biggest proponents are people I find to be of the most disgusting, hypocritical, vomitous kind, and who will never disappear.
Would I include among that filth a woman who saved Jews from Nazis, whose husband was murdered, who raised her son the best she could? How could I? I don’t know her. So no. All I can reckon about her is in some bold acts of virtue. And often the strain of The Good Society does add some kind of a strain to acting virtuously, i.e. that it is inhuman or not in human nature; that it requires going well out of the way or against desire. I don’t believe it does in actuality, but I mean: sometimes it’s hard to act virtuously when you believe, even / especially if it’s subconsciously, that the pinnacle of virtue revolves around plain and simple intercourse with someone you’re attracted to. To say nothing of marriage, chastity, abstinence, sexual orientation, sleeping with a “whore,” and all that great stuff.
I don’t know much. Maybe a good portion of Deep End really happened to Jerzy Skolimowski. I don’t believe he killed anyone because his Wikipedia doesn’t mention it, but I’d buy it wholesale that he spent all night outside of a “brothel” blowing zloty on sausage with mustard just because he was “in love” with a “hooker” who was being “warm” inside. I’m sure plenty of Jerzy’s superb masturbation fantasies aren’t about a man yearning for “sluts,” but rather about the “sluts” themselves.