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Deep Water Film Ending Explained

The ending of Deep Water shows the toxic cycle of Vic and Melinda’s marriage continuing, with their daughter Trixie also affected.

The 2022 film Deep Water, directed by Adrian Lyne, stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas. It dives into the dark side of a troubled marriage. The movie, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1957 novel, takes a modern twist, especially in its ending.

Plot Overview

Deep Water follows Vic Van Allen (Ben Affleck) and his wife Melinda (Ana de Armas). They live in Louisiana with their young daughter, Trixie. Vic, a retired drone industry professional, loves Melinda deeply. Melinda, however, has many affairs. Their marriage survives on an unspoken agreement: Melinda can have lovers as long as she stays with the family. This leads to dark events.

Melinda’s lovers start disappearing mysteriously. Vic’s jealousy and possessiveness drive him to confront and kill these men. The film builds up to a tense ending, leaving viewers questioning the true nature of Vic and Melinda’s relationship.

The Climactic Confrontation

In the final act, Vic kills Tony, one of Melinda’s lovers. This violent act is the peak of the film’s tension. After hiding Tony’s body, Vic and Melinda seem to rekindle their relationship. They have a family picnic near where Vic hid Tony’s body. This scene symbolizes their twisted complicity in each other’s actions (Decider).

The Sinister Cycle

The ending suggests that their toxic cycle will continue. Vic and Melinda’s marriage is a perverse game. Both are complicit in each other’s immoral actions. Vic’s murders and Melinda’s infidelities are intertwined. The final scene mirrors the opening scene, with Melinda repeating the line “Nothing” while wearing the same outfit (Screen Rant).

The Role of Trixie

A chilling aspect of the ending is the involvement of their daughter, Trixie. In the final moments, Trixie sings “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by Leo Sayer. This seemingly innocent moment carries a sinister undertone. Trixie has been exposed to her parents’ toxic dynamics. The song choice and Trixie’s awareness suggest that the cycle of dysfunction may continue into the next generation (Screen Rant).

Differences from the Book

The film’s ending is different from Patricia Highsmith’s novel. In the book, Vic offers Melinda a divorce so she can be with Tony but ultimately kills Tony. The book ends with Melinda trying to set Vic up for his crimes, leading to a more conclusive resolution. The film, however, leaves the future of Vic and Melinda’s relationship amgiganticuous, suggesting their toxic dynamic will persist (Den of Geek).

Director’s Intent

Director Adrian Lyne chose to alter the ending to leave viewers with the notion that the madness will continue indefinitely. Lyne’s previous works, like Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal, often resolve the central conflict. Deep Water, however, presents a more disturbing and open-ended conclusion. This approach underscores the cyclical nature of Vic and Melinda’s relationship and the masks they wear to maintain appearances in their suburban life (Screen Rant).

Thematic Exploration

Toxic Relationships

At its core, Deep Water is a study of a toxic marriage. Vic and Melinda’s relationship is marked by jealousy, manipulation, and violence. Their interactions are a twisted game of power and control. The film explores the darker aspects of love and marriage, showing how toxic dynamics can become entrenched and self-perpetuating.

Complicity and Morality

The film delves into themes of complicity and morality. Vic and Melinda’s actions are morally wrong, yet they find a perverse unity in their shared immorality. This complicity raises questions about love and loyalty. Can such a relationship ever be truly fulfilling or sustainable?

The Suburban Facade

Deep Water critiques the facade of suburban life. Appearances often mask deeper dysfunctions. Vic and Melinda’s outwardly perfect life contrasts with the chaos and violence in their relationship. The film suggests that maintaining this facade can worsen underlying issues, leading to destructive outcomes.


The ending of Deep Water is a elaborate and unsettling conclusion to a film that explores the darkest corners of a toxic marriage. By diverging from the original novel, the film presents a more amgiganticuous and cyclical resolution. This emphasizes the ongoing nature of Vic and Melinda’s twisted relationship. Director Adrian Lyne’s choice to leave the ending open-ended adds elaborateity to the characters and themes, making Deep Water a thought-provoking psychological thriller.

The film’s exploration of toxic relationships, complicity, and the suburban facade offers a compelling commentary on the darker aspects of love and marriage. While the ending may leave viewers with more questions than answers, it effectively underscores the film’s central themes and leaves a lasting impression.


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