As time goes on, Kirsten Dunst has become a finer actress, sharpening her comedic timing in films like "Bring It On" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous", while refining her dramatic skills in "crazy/beautiful" and "The Virgin Suicides". With her first major action picture ("Spider Man") on the horizon, it seems as if Dunst could finally have the solid break-out hit that could cement her star status.
Yet, while Dunst has had her fair share of hits and misses, one might not realize just how many pictures she's been in. While some of her films ("Drop Dead Gorgeous", "Dick") have not done particularly well at the box office, she's been in several films that never saw theatrical release, with "Lover's Prayer", "Luckytown Blues", "Deeply" and "All I Wanna Do" on that list. "Deeply" is a 2000 Canadian/German production, finally coming to video shelves nearly two years later. While the features are not entirely similar, "Deeply" occasionally began to remind me of a dull and weakly realized version of director John Sayles' terrific fairy tale "The Secret of Roan Inish".
The film revolves around Ironbound Island, a small port that has a curse attached to it - every 50 years, the fish simply dissapear and leave the fishermen with no work. Or, so the tale goes as told to Claire McKay (Julia Brendler) by an irritable old novelist (Lynn Redgrave). Claire has recently arrived, depressed by the loss of her boyfriend in an accident. Most of the film shows the tale of Silly (Dunst), the lead character in the story being read, who has a 6th sense of sorts about the sea.
Most of the film seems to serve as a travel guide instead of an actual picture. Immesensely slow and seemingly lacking a point, the film drifts slowly between the present and the love story/tale being told. The acting isn't a great deal better, as Dunst and the other actors all adopt shaky accents. The film seems to be going absolutely nowhere for the majority of the running time, as the characters go through a number of inane scenes that don't seem to further the plot in any way.
If anything - and really, anything, because there isn't much going on here, the scenery is remarkable. Otherwise, "Deeply" is a grim and extraordinarily slow picture, delivering lackluster performances and no particular point.
VIDEO: Studio Home Entertainment presents "Deeply" in 1.33:1 full-frame, which is not the film's orignal aspect ratio - which was 1.85:1. To add to the fact that the film is presented cropped, there are also a number of very noticable flaws with the image quality in general. Sharpness and detail are mediocre, as images appeared either slightly or considerably soft.
The image suffered further from some mild edge enhancement as well as some print flaws, which included everything from slight specks to a mild mark or two. While grain is not a consistent problem, a few sequences showed mild-to-heavy amounts of it. Colors throughout the film could look either flat and rather bland, or natural and slightly brighter. Overall, this is a rather dissapointing presentation of a film that at least appears to have fine locations.
SOUND: "Deeply" is presented in stereo. There's nothing particularly noteworthy about the film's audio, nor is there anything wrong with it, either. The audio remains at least respectably clear throughout, if not really containing much power or subtle detail.
MENUS:: Basic, non-animated menus that essentially use film-themed images and cover art.
Final Thoughts: If "Deeply" is deeply anything, I found it deeply boring. A picture that moves so slowly as to be almost at a standstill, the film isn't livened by performances, ordinary writing or scenery. Studio's DVD is a weak effort, with inconsistent audio/video and no significant supplements. Not recommended.
The Film 1/2 *
Video 75/C = (300/400 possible points)
Audio: 79/C+ = (316/400 possible points)
Extras: 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: 1/2 *
DVD GRADE: C