movie film review | chris tookey


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  Submarine Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
8.40 /10
Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige, Sally Hawkins
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Directed by: Richard Aoyarde
Written by: Richard Aoyarde , based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne

Released: 2010
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: UK
Colour: C
Length: 97

Offbeat British comedy.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Submarine is a self-consciously quirky rites-of-passage comedy about a pale, gloomy 15 year-old Welsh schoolboy (Craig Roberts, pictured left) trying to lose his virginity with his comically unromantic girl-friend (Yasmin Paige, pictured right), who’s bad-tempered and suffers from eczema.

At the same time, he’s attempting to help his depressed dad (Noah Taylor) – yes, that’s the second depressed dad of the week – to rescue his none-too-bright wife (Sally Hawkins) from the clutches of their preposterous New Age guru neighbour. In this uncharacteristically broad comic role, Paddy Considine boasts a terrifying mullet that must rank as the screen’s scariest hairstyle since Javier Bardem’s barnet in No Country For Old Men.

First-time writer-director Richard Aoyarde is a talent to watch, and his film is always amiable. Our schoolboy hero of the 1980s is endearingly awkward, not unlike the hero of Bill Forsyth’s Gregory’s Girl, and as engagingly pretentious as Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole.

However, there are many moments when the plot meanders, and a few when it grinds to a halt. The style – indebted to Rohmer, Truffaut and early Godard – isn’t truly reflective of a 15 year old boy’s culture, even if he is supposedly addicted to the chansons of Serge Gainsbourg.

The happy ending also feels too conventionally art-house: it’s a dead ringer for Truffaut’s 400 Blows.

Because Submarine seems geared more towards middle-aged film critics than real teenagers and fails to deliver fully on its comic potential, it probably won’t be a mainstream hit; but it will deserve a cult following as an artier, British equivalent to 500 Days of Summer - an eccentric romcom with an original edge.

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