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15-year-old Mike takes a job at the local swimming baths, where he becomes obsessed with an attractive young woman, Susan, who works there as an attendant. Although Susan has a fiancé, Mike does his best to sabotage the relationship, to the extent of stalking both her and her fiancé. Mike becomes increasingly desperate to have Susan for himself, with tragic results. Written by
What starts out as a tender coming-of-age story devolves into a story of sexual obsession and missed connections in "Deep End." The story has bicycle riding teenager Mike starting his first job at a run-down public bathhouse which caters to both men and women. There is also an Olympic sized pool in the facility, which is utilized by scores of teenage girls. Mike's pretty but jaded coworker Susan is on hand to show him the ropes, and soon their mild flirtation begins to prompt Mike into increasingly bizarre stalker behavior.
The cinematography here is outstanding, with every stain, crack and spot of dirt in the grimy bathhouse evident. It certainly appears to be a place where any sensible person would hesitate to walk barefoot through, and the sets are loaded with strange signage and bizarre props. The exterior locations are expertly filmed also, and give a great impression of the U.K. at the end of the 1960's.
The acting of the two young leads is top-notch and utterly believable at all turns, with John Moulder-Brown especially likable and appealing. And certainly special mention must be made to former glamor girl Diana Dors as a blowzy blond bathhouse patron with a sexual fixation on football. She holds nothing back in her cameo appearance, and she's fantastic in the limited screen time devoted to her physically aggressive and domineering character.
Some objection could be made to the somewhat speedy manner in which Mike's character transforms from nice teenager into obsessed stalker. Some of this didn't seem too believable, although Asher as Susan is beautiful enough to almost make it work. Mike begins the film as such a sweet young guy who's concerned about his future and his family, that's it's almost unfathomable as to why he'd go off the "deep end" like he does.
*** out of *****
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