This week, I’d like to discuss a film that’s particularly close to me as it sort of represents the beginning of my critical career: Submarine. I remember watching Submarine a number of years ago and thinking for the first time that film is an astounding medium. In short, Submarine was the movie that made me realize that movies are cool.
Submarine is the directorial debut for British comedic talent Richard Ayoade, also responsible for The Watch, as well as this year’s highly anticipated film, The Double. Ayoade’s strength lies in his ability to be funny and insightful without feeling to the need to drench his work in cynicism- a lesson which many coming-of-age dramas baldy need to learn. Though Submarine doesn’t reinvent the genre by any means, it delivers an honest and profoundly believable story revolving around a sympathetic, incorrigible protagonist.
Ayoade’s directorial style is a little reminiscent of a more sober sort of Wes Anderson production, complete with bright colors and childlike set pieces and situations. The key, however, is that the style never eclipses the substance and Ayoade pulls it off remarkably well. The story follows black sheep Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) as he navigates the treacherous waters of love and familial relationships. Though seemingly distant, Oliver has a big heart and puts it upon himself to hold his precious little world together in any way he can. Though Oliver’s exploits sometimes seem fantastical, the action and plot are eminently relatable thanks to Ayoade’s expertly crafted dialogue. It’s likely that many members of the audience might see glimpses of themselves in Oliver’s angst and gradual maturation, facilitating a moving yet witty and energetic story.
Rating: 4 out of 5