Brilliantly British: Submarine

This is probably the least known, but best coming of age film to premiere in decades, and more people (especially teenagers and college students) need to see this film. Submarine premiered in 2010 and is about a young man named Oliver Tate (played by Craig Roberts) who strikes up a relationship with a socially awkward (somewhat mean) girl in his class named Jordana Bevan (played by Yasmin Paige) as his parents’ marriage slowly begins to collapse. Oliver is by no means the perfect character– he pushes a girl into a pond in order to impress Jordana– but he is much kinder and easier to relate to than his character in the 2008 novel (under the same title by Joe Dunthorne). This film, unlike many teen movies, actually does develop the parental characters (played by Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) and uses their subplot to develop the story between Oliver and Jordana. There are a few elements in the characters that are silly– such as Oliver’s mother’s interest in Graham (played by Paddy Considine), who was a former love interest and now is both a motivational speaker that claims to see auras and a ninja (I am not making this up, seriously)– but, somehow, they all seem to fit into the world of this movie and Oliver’s viewpoint.

I actually did not see this film until very recently, and had only heard of it by accident (the trailer was recommended to me by youtube), but I am so thankful that I watched this film. Not only did I really enjoy this film, but I now consider it in my top 5 favorite movies of all time (behind Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Breakfast Club, but before Scarface and Annie Hall). The acting was perfect, the humor fantastic (very dry, sarcastic, and somewhat self-deprecating), the writing well executed, and the directing (by Richard Ayoade) was brilliant. But what truly made this film better than many others for me was the cinematography and sound track. Parts of the film were captured on a vintage Super 8 camera, which gave the film a very intimate tone; and a majority of the music was developed by Alex Turner, who is the lead singer and songwriter of Artic Monkeys (my favorite song is “Piledriver Waltz”, which plays in the credits). I love the visuals in this film (I actually have a poster sized version of photo 2) and the contrast on the harsh, gray skies and the bright colors of the costumes and overall styling. Overall, this film is fantastic and should be watched.

Now, while I think this film will appeal to many people, it may be viewed better through the eyes of teenagers and college-aged kids. Similarly to how more of my peers (and myself included) liked the 2011 film Like Crazy than most adult audiences. Or how more people tend to like Salinger’s novel Catcher in The Rye when they read it as young adults than at an older age– this point is emphasised since Catcher is discussed in the film as one of Oliver’s favorite books. I still think that people, regardless of their age, should watch this film, but I acknowledge that not everyone will share my enthusiasm for Submarine.

What do you think of Submarine? Have you seen the film and what is your opinion of it? And do you think certain age groups will like this film more than others?

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