|Craig Roberts as Oliver Tate in a promotional image|
Written and directed by E4's 'IT Crowd' star Richard Ayoade, with US comedian Ben Stiller as executive producer and specially recorded music by Artic Monkeys' lead Alex Turner, child stars Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige bring us; 'Submarine'. The coming-of-age romantic comedy set in Wales during the 80's is based on the 2008 novel by Joe Dunthorne,a virtually unknown poet and writer. With such a diverse multitude of persons behind it what can we expect?
15 year-old Swansea schoolboy Oliver Tate is unpopular, shy and alienated by everyone. He can't hold down a hobby and falls in love with Jordana Bevan. To get back at her cheating boyfriend Jordana gets Oliver to meet her where she kisses him, takes photographs and makes him write a false diary entry. She leaves the evidence of their meeting in school to make her ex jealous but it sees Oliver beaten up for refusing to call Jordana a slut. On the way home from school she kisses him again and Oliver makes Jordana his girlfriend. Meanwhile at home; Oliver's parents Lloyd and Jill's sex life and relationship is falling apart. With Lloyd depressed working as marine biologist after a failed TV career Oliver assumes his mother is having an affair with her ex and new age guru Graham who lives next door.
Oliver and Jordana's relationship then blossoms until Jordana reveals her mother has a potentially fatal brain tumour. Oliver considers poisoning Jordana's dog in order to stem her grief when her mother dies but the dog is hit by a train. By Christmas time Oliver meets Jordana's parents where her father breaks down and Oliver becomes unsettled in his and Jordana's relationship. Without competent social skills Oliver decides cutting off contact with Jordana will help her. However when Oliver follows his mother and Graham down to the beach at New Year he sees Jordana with a new boyfriend. In response to seeing to seeing his mother get into Graham's van Oliver vandalises the guru's home and finds out his mother did give Graham a hand-job but Oliver's parents begin to reconcile. In the meantime Oliver becomes suicidal about losing Jordana until he makes his point clear and sees her on the beach they spent their time on. The film ends with a hint that the couple have resumed their relationship together as they walk into the sea.
|Oliver admits that he feels suicidal.|
|'You'd be mad not to cast us!'|
All in all, Submarine is a powerfully moving picturesque romp with an intelligent script and award-winning material acting especially from it's inexperienced teenage leads. With moments that are innocent and hilarious to moments that are courageously mature in content this has got to be one of my new favourites. An excellent piece of what the British film industry are able to achieve. Though I'm still struggling to understand Ben Stiller's involvement as according to his message on the extras he didn't do anything to contribute whatsoever, he didn't even bother to fly over to Cardiff to watch filming. Nevertheless, a must-watch.