[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B004TA74XI][/pullquote] British talent appears to be spreading across the globe in recent years. What with Tom Hardy’s rise from obscurity to blockbuster supporting cast, not to mention Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright establishing themselves in Hollywood and Joe Cornish’s sudden emergence as writer and director for a number of incredible films, it shows that there is a slew of new talent from the British Isles finally getting their shot. It was only a matter of time then before one of our brightest talents Richard Ayoade had his shot. Best known for his comedy work in TV shows like The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place, in 2010 he turned his hand to writing and directing in the coming-of-age drama Submarine.
Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) is a forlorn 15-year-old boy how has two problems in his life. Firstly he has a new girlfriend, Jordana (Yasmin Paige) whom he is trying to have sex for the first time with. Secondly, he is concerned that his parents’ relationship is falling apart due to the re-emergence of his mother’s ex-boyfriend, Graham (Paddy Considine). Stuck being trying to resolve both problems he struggles to remain happy as his life begins to unravel before him.
Submarine has a rather original and unique style to it. It is part independent film, part comedy, part tragedy with some stunningly low-key performances and some beautiful shots of unappealing places. Unlike a lot of films, Oliver narrates the action, whilst commenting on it as if he is aware that he’s in a movie. In fact whilst Considine is superb as sleazy positive reinforcement speaker Graham, this is Oliver Tate’s film, and Craig Roberts, whilst slightly odd, is an intriguing protagonist and is a far cry from the caricatured Hollywood child actors you might be used to.
We all see our lives as films, picturing how a scene would’ve played out and creating narratives with comparison to other films. Hollywood seems to avoid such methods and substitutes this sense of meta-narrative with camera shots that are quickly cut and demand your attention throughout. Submarine is happy to linger just a second longer to really immerse you in the experiences of the characters. It’s slightly unnerving at first, but you learn to love these moments.
Richard Ayoade is obviously a sickenly talented individual. Not only is he a comic actor of some range, but he is apparently equally adept at writing and directing. This, his first directorial feature film stands as a marker for a very promising career ahead if he so chooses and you can’t help but feel that he has imbued Oliver with many incidents from his own childhood.