Friday, 1 April 2011


Last night I went to see Richard Ayoade's new film Submarine and wow, it was fantastic.

Normally when I go see the film I have at least read a review or seen a trailer, but I went in stone cold this time. The only information I knew about the film was that the soundtrack was by Alex Turner and it was Ayoade's first feature length film. In a way, I think this lead me to appreciate the film more as I had no preconceptions about it.

The film is adapted by Joe Dunthorne's coming of age novel which centres around the life and thoughts of 15 year old Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts). In an Adrian Mole-esque way the film is narrated by Oliver throughout and set in the late 80's a sense of nostalgia is felt with technology and fashion featuring heavily in the film (Polaroids, tape players, midi pleated skirts and duffel coats). Due to the era and plot the film is on the cusp of being perceived as a 'indie-I'm-better-than-you' film, but it's thankfully avoided due to it's mundane references to pot holes, school boy humour and eczema.

However, the film keeps a deadpan humour throughout. What I enjoyed is the way mundane British traditions, lifestyles and characteristics were played throughout. One which tickled my particularly was when Oliver described a tradition at his mother's work (the local council) where people brought in their own Birthday cake and how odd he found this. At this exact moment myself and my friend turned to each other to say the same is true at our work place....oh dear

 (Oliver and Jordana - Source: IMDb)
The film focuses on two relationships:

1) Oliver pursuing and seducing Jordana (Yasmin Paige) a sulky but alluring brunette with a penchant for pyromania. Jordana's lack of emotion and lip curling half smiles is very reminiscent of a large majority of teenage girls that mesmerise boys. Throughout the film small cracks of emotion can be seen in Jordana and in the end it is her that relies on Oliver rather than the other way round.

2) The dwindling love life of Oliver's parents Jill (Sally Hawkins) and Lloyd (Noah Taylor) and Oliver's own attempts at keeping them together. Although Oliver views his parents relationship as stagnant and past it's best and takes an unusual interest on getting things back on track in an unusually awkward and dead-pan way.

(Jill - Source: IMDb)
Ayoade, although not staring in the film, can be felt throughout with classic quotes which made the audience erupt with laughter. The humour throughout the film is very reminiscent of Dark Place, with the fast space speech and stills of characters on a black back-lit background accompanied by a descriptive voice over from Oliver.

The main attraction of this film is it's awkwardness and observational humour which is so very British. Either by Oliver failing to be able to piss on demand to vandalise his neighbour's property or Jill believing it more realistic that her son is psychotic over him having a girlfriend.

Ayoade and Turner (Source: Independent)

One last reason to see this film is the amazing soundtrack by Alex Turner which I mentioned earlier, who might I add the main character Oliver has a striking resemblance too! Turner creates a acoustic-folk masterpiece with hints of a Beatles sound and a few remaining gruff Arctic Monkey pronunciations and wording.  It creates an background atmosphere which blends in to the film's setting and plot without distracting away from the film.


If you get the chance you really should see this film, I can guarantee you will laugh out loud at least once.

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