Richard Ayoade's 'Submarine'
I realise that I am slightly bending my own rules as this film was technically first shown in 2010 at Toronto's 'Sundance Film Festival', however it was not broadcast in UK cinemas until March 2011.
When I heard that Richard Ayoade was writing and directing his own movie it's safe to say I was more than excited. As an avid It Crowd fanatic I had grown to associate him with his character of Moss and his unconventional, typically geeky but lovable anecdotes. With this in mind I was curious as to what this film would be like and if it would meet my high expectations, knowing that Ayoade had also previously directed music videos for the Arctic Monkeys.
Luckily the dark coming of age comedy, based on a Joe Dunthorn novel about the dramas in the life of an 1980s teenage boy from Swansea, more than met my expectations. The irony heavy bittersweet love story was both funny and touching, keeping some of that vital sympathy that you just can't help but feel for the socially awkward character of Moss in the mix.
The central character, Oliver Tate a 15 year old loner is played convincingly by movie newbie Craig Roberts, who keeps the comedic elements to the ironic loneliness and sadness he shows in other characters intact. The over used by Ayoade for the character of Oliver is not overdone and in many ways adds to the unreality of the piece. Roberts, takes Ayoade's intended direction and perfectly portrays the emotional vulnerability of the character of Oliver shown in the two very different 'problems' the plot focuses on: his unbridled love for classmate Jordana Bevan (Yasmin Page) and the probable split of his parents, played by Noah Taylor and Sally Hawkins, as his mother beings spending more of her time with their outgoing, new age psychic, 'love van' neighbour Graham (Paddy Considine). These problems escalate heightening the comedic value of the film, without overdoing it. However, I wont give away any more for those still wanting to watch the film as I hate spoiler reviews!
This is a very personal choice and some have criticised 'Submarine' for being too 'avant-garde' and for trying too hard to be different. However, I think that this movie is not trying too hard to be anything, in a sense it is understated in it's brilliance. It definitely marks the start of big things for Aayode with an unique, visually distinctive and quirky production. Also, just a wee note to add on to the end, 'Submarine' also has an amazing soundtrack written by the Arctic Monkey's Alex Turner.