78- Submarine [5.0]

Fifteen-year-old Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents’ marriage via carefully plotted intervention and to lose his virginity before his next birthday. Worried that his mom is having an affair with New Age weirdo Graham, Oliver monitors his parents’ sex life by charting the dimmer switch in their bedroom. He also forges suggestive love letters from his mom to dad

No matter how hard I tried shaking the association, I could not get around thinking of Wes Anderson throughout Submarine. Submarine is a far less interesting blend of The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore. First time director Richard Ayoade is very talented behind the camera but woefully lacks in originality. It’s a shame, as there are certainly interesting elements in Submarine.

The playful self-awareness doesn’t do much. Acknowledging large crane shots and pans seem more like an excuse for Ayoade to include the shots that his predecessors used so well in the 70s and other coming of age films without seeming like a complete rip off. Lead character Oliver Tate is a split between Harold from Harold and Maude and Max from Rushmore, but far less interesting than either character. It’s always a pleasure seeing Paddy Considine on screen, but he’s stuck in a weird role that never really quite goes anywhere.

Here’s to hoping that Ayoade finds material that will not only bring the best out of him, but something original out as well.

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One response to “78- Submarine [5.0]”

  1. Dan says :

    I found plenty to enjoy in Submarine but like you I couldn’t help but think writer-director Ayoade fails to shake off the very Wes Anderson-like feel of the film. Perhaps Submarine is too knowing for its own good and this highlights that it isn’t as unique and inspired as it believes it is. Still, there’s enough in it to merit a place in my top 10 British films of the year.

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