I hadn’t heard of this film until my boyfriend picked it yesterday, but I’m very happy that a mutual friend of ours lives in the town where it was filmed! If you’re looking to watch a film that will make you laugh out loud; watch this. Here’s my debut film review:
Directed by Richard Ayoade, (IT crowd,) the film focuses on the pubescent qualms of 15-year-old Oliver Tate, the self-proclaimed protagonist. It’s an piss-take bildungsroman with a prologue, chapters and epilogue that take the point of view of the teen at the centre of his world. The black comedy charts his experiences of first love, family troubles and self growth, often presenting an unexpected viewpoint that makes everyday issues be seen in a new and interesting light.
It could be horribly predictable and mundane as the narrative is essentially very simple, yet quirky ideas within the plot (his Mum verging on having an affair with a mystic who’s an old flame,) and the stylistic portrayal (great camera angles, dreams,) make it brilliant, unique and entertaining!
What makes this film so funny? It’s honest about the things that are awkward. The characterisation is class. There’s Oliver who although shows little emotion, his face speaks a thousand words. Frequently narrating, his humour is dry and abrupt. He knows when his parents last had sex in relation to the brightness of the dimmer switch in their room. His girlfriend isn’t the classic film female, she has eczema, which he points out; and she’s entertained by a bit of light bullying, which he uses to initially woo her.
The parents are hilarious characters. Sally Hawkins (who features in 2 of my favourites – Happy Go Lucky and Made in Dagenham) plays the neurotic Mum who Oliver ends up spying on as he suspects an affair with their neighbour. Noah Taylor is the awkward father, presenting his son with a casette, with tunes suitable for first-time sex (at his recommendation) and then a B-side break-up section.
Submarine has its own great soundtrack with moving lyrics from Artic Monkey’s lead singer Alex Turner, who released the 6 track EP this year.
The film covers a number of issues that are particularly relevant to a teenager, but something we can all identify with. It’s like an extension of the awkward romance within Juno, yet it’s set in Wales, which somehow makes the humour that bit more funny. And of course we all love a bit of British!
Watch the trailer here and let me know if you’ve seen it/what you think of it.
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