Thai film Deep builds its narrative around a neuroscience experiment that employs four medical science students. These aspiring doctors catch the adventurous but haunting ride of insomnia to earn some extra bucks. While the money looked green and glittery, they didn’t predict that sleep loss would result in terrifying visual hallucinations. Deep plunges into the world of Paranoia with divulging conclusions at the end.
Professor Nichcha is a teaching faculty in a medical college. The film begins with her lecture on insomnia and its consequences. In the worst-case scenario, an insomniac can lose their ability to distinguish between imagination and reality. Hence, the dialogue subtly hints at the upcoming threat.
Jane is a bright medical student who looks after her young-blood sister, June, and her ailing grandmother Duangjai. Due to low aggregate income, Jane fails to repay the home loan and thus decides to quit her studies to exhaust herself in earning money. However, Professor Nichcha introduces her to a German pharmaceutical company for a part-time job that may solve her debt issues.
At Weimar pharmaceuticals, Jane learns about their ongoing sleep experiment, “The Deep.” The company implants a microchip on its subjects to extract Qratonin, which the human body creates to keep itself awake. Weimar wanted to use these substances to treat brain-dead patients through their experiment.
Director of Research facility at Weimar, Hans Miller, offers Jane 100,000 Baht for Deep Level 1 experiment. He plants the microchip on the occipital area from where it will extract Qratonin from the brain. The experiment will be deemed successful once Jane’s Qratonin level reaches 100 percent, monitored by a digital wristwatch. However, there is a twist to the all-sounding good plot. If Jane falls asleep for more than 60 seconds, the microchip may short-circuit and stop Jane’s heart. Thus, she can only sleep once the experiment is successfully completed and the chip is extracted.
Initially, Jane thinks that she is the sole adventurer on this suicide experiment but soon meets three colleagues on the ride. A party animal, Win, famous beauty blogger Cin, and the gaming nerd Peach, bring thrill and conflict to the fable.
Deep Level 3 Experiment
Money is numbers, and numbers never end. After successfully finishing Level 1, the four friends went for a Deep Level 2 experiment to earn more. But in the intermediate level, Cin faced a near-death experience that terrified the whole group. In school, Jane discovered a student who lost her life due to a “Deep Experiment.” Jane and her friends decided not to step in for Level 3, no matter what happens.
Jane’s grandmother suffered a stroke, and she didn’t have enough money for her treatment. At this tragic moment, she discovered that her younger sibling, June, had also taken part in the experiment. Jane tried to stop the young blood, but she was out of control. The money blinded June, and she went for Level 3.
Jane knew that her sister won’t survive it, and she argued with Hans Miller to remove the chip from June’s body, but he denied it. On the contrary, Hans extended an offer. In exchange for June, he wanted Jane and her friends to run for the experiment. Understanding Jane’s situation, her friends buckled up for the last ride.
Professor Nichcha personally supervised the four friends and gave them doses of Exerall every day to keep them alerted. But the visual hallucinations and Paranoia shook the hell out of them. At a crucial moment, Jane found that the whole experiment was a set-up by Nichcha. In the storeroom area, Jane found several surveillance monitors recording their activities and checking their vitals. Jane also found Hans Miller’s audition file that established that he was a mere actor and not a doctor. His real name was Jim. The mastermind behind Weimar was none other than her professor. But why?
Qratonin Experiment Explained
Win injected himself with CCL to cause temporary cardiac arrest. It compelled Professor Nichcha to unlock the door to the ward. She took Win’s body and extracted the microchip from his body, unaware that it was a trap.
At last, Nichcha spilled the beans and confessed her crimes. She enrolled the students into the experiment to extract Qratonin from their bodies to save her lover, Jed. 24 years ago, Jed jumped off the building in an attempt to kill himself (the opening shot of the film). He experimented on himself for research on sleep deprivation, but extended sleeplessness drove him into a fit of hallucination. Jed survived the jump but went into a coma. Nichcha found a practical way to extract Qratonin from the brains of sleep-deprived humans and inject it into brain-dead patients. Jed responded positively to the experiment, and Nichcha found a ray of hope for her lover.
However, Qratonin from a single person was not enough to awaken Jed from his coma. Thus, Nichcha created a network called Weimar to save him. She risked her student’s life for her own benefit. Due to her experiment, a girl lost her life, but regretfully, Nichcha felt no remorse. She was blinded by her own greed.
‘Deep’ Ending Explained
After her revealing confession, Nichcha tried to kill Jane and injected her with a sleeping injection. Win applied AED (Automated external defibrillator) and brought Jane to consciousness before her 60 seconds fled away. The friends reported Nichcha, and she was arrested.
Jane and her friends didn’t get paid for Level 3, but hopefully, their lives got saved, and the microchips were removed. They welcomed the peaceful sleep they had been yearning for. All of them found their respective closures. Win made peace with his father and accepted her mother’s suicide. Cin left medicine and joined a communication course, the journey where her heart belonged. Peach understood the importance of living with friends in the real world and started hanging out with his new gang. And Jane, well, she didn’t have much to do, but her sister concluded her late-night outings and started helping Jane with her canteen. Well, in the end, they all slept like a rock rather than sleep like the dead.
Deep is a 2021 Sci-Fi Drama Film directed by Sita Likitvanichkul, Jetarin Ratanaserikiat, Apirak Samudkidpisan, Thanabodee Uawithya and Adirek Wattaleela. It is in the Thai Language.