Submarine: A charming coming of age story.
Technically speaking, Submarine is split into three parts, Part 1: Jordana Bevan, Part 2: Graham Purvis (Oliver’s new neighbour and his mother’s first love) and Part 3: Showdown, but all the parts are interconnected and they all form part of the same overall story.
Submarine has been expertly cast and features excellent acting performances, with superb performances in particular from Craig Roberts as lead character Oliver and Yasmin Paige as his love interest Jordana. Noah Taylor as the dull and depressed Lloyd (Oliver’s dad) is also brilliant and he plays the unintentionally amusing aspects of Lloyd’s personality exceptionally well indeed. To be fair though, the entire cast put in perfect performances and were helped by a very well-written script.
The sense of humour in Submarine is very dry, sometimes quite subtle but also at times clever, and although this movie had me laughing out loud on occasion, I would add the qualifying note that this is a movie with a very British sense of humour so it may perhaps not appeal quite as much to overseas audiences. I still feel that there’s something in here for everybody though, and if you do get the humour then it’s a safe bet that you will love this movie.
Certain moments had me laughing without really quite knowing why. For example on one occasion when Oliver’s mother leaves the room, Oliver covertly turns the tap on to allow him to talk privately with his dad regarding his suspicions that his mother is having an affair. In typically laidback fashion his dad very calmly replies, ‘Can you turn the tap off please?’ It probably doesn’t sound funny at all to read and that’s actually probably true if you were to describe many of the scenes in Submarine. Many of its humorous moments are hard to capture accurately if you want to do the comedy justice and in the end you would have to simply say, ‘Look, just watch it for yourself.’
Submarine is also unusual in that none of the characters are your typical likeably perfect heroes, and yet you still find yourself rooting for them and sympathising with them. Maybe it’s the flaws in the characters which makes them come across as more believable and adds to the overall feeling of naturalness and realism you get when watching Submarine.
To sum it up, first time director Richard Ayoade and the superb cast have done an excellent job of telling a charming and convincing coming of age story. Submarine is an amusing and honest movie which should appeal to anyone looking for a break from the glamour of Hollywood and an at times touching movie which will leave you with a warm and appreciative smile on your face.
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