Newest Review: ... It is more like his work with The Last Shadow Puppets than the Arctic Monkeys. The DVD is packed with extras - so far I've only watch... more
A brilliant and witty debut film about the not as heroic as he thinks Oliver Tate.
Member Name: Chandelier
Advantages: Very funny with incredible performances and it's own distinct voice
Disadvantages: Should have got more viewers when it was released!
Submarine is a stylistically confident, witty and funny debut from Richard Ayowade. It has its own distinctive vision and voice, although clearly influenced by Wes Anderson, Hal Ashby and French new wave.
The performance by Craig Roberts as Oliver Tate is phenomenal and he has created one of the most memorable teenagers on film, to easily rival the likes of Ferris Bueller or Max Fischer from Rushmore. Oliver should be intensely unlikeable, but the bravado in Roberts' performance makes him compelling for all his flaws and affectations. Oliver is the would be romantic intellectual hero of his should be sophisticated fascinating life. Unfortunately, he is a teenager. In Wales. In the 80s. That doesn't stop his imagination from creating the world he feels he deserves and the film brings that to life more than he probably does deserve! The scenes where he precisely imagines how his life might look if it was a film or how his school and the local news might react to his death are visually witty as well as being hilariously narrated and performed. Very few actors could have pulled this off.
Submarine is blessed with an excellent supporting cast. Yasmine Paige is note perfect as Jordana, the object of Oliver's affections, her character evolving from something mysteriously dark and confident, to more vulnerable as the film goes on, but also with fantastic irony and comic timing. Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor are the heart of the film, bringing a mixture of warmth, wistful sadness and drab loneliness to their characters to set against Oliver's cocky self involvedness. Darren Evans is the comedy best friend of Chips showing the brand of immature male teenage lewd humour that Oliver reacts against, allowing Oliver to set himself up as the intense outsider of his imagination.
The only character that I didn't think quite worked was Paddy Constantine's Graham Purvis. I am a massive fan of Paddy Constantine and the performance isn't bad, but the character feels a little too over the top and pantomime in it's humour which doesn't quite bed with the tone of the rest of the film - although he does still have some very funny moments.
The film is shot beautifully, and reflects the detached irony of the narration. Some of the scenes, particularly between Oliver and Jordana are wonderful to look at, and really capture the essence of being a teenager.
The gorgeous soundtrack by Alex Turner wonderfully complements the film (and also works as a separate album) replicating the feeling of youthful nostalgia for what life should be like in our heads rather than what real life disappoints us with. It is more like his work with The Last Shadow Puppets than the Arctic Monkeys.
The DVD is packed with extras - so far I've only watched the deleted and extended scenes, which have some amusing moments among them, but you can see how they weren't essential to the film.
Overall, this is one of my favourite films of the last few years. Although it is a Britisih film it has much more in common with American independent films. If you love those kind of films, you will love this. It might not to be everyone's taste or sense of humour, but the clever and witty script and brilliant performances at the centre, means that if you are not sure it's for you, I would still recommend giving it a go.
Summary: A wonderful and witty debut film, brilliantly brought to life and thoroughly convincing.