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A Magazine for Sheffield

Submarine: Submarine Review

Submarine is a charming, feel good portrait of a self-absorbed 15-year-old duffle coat-clad Welsh boy. That may sound a bit rubbish, and once you've ascertained that it's also a film written and directed by that geeky black character from the frankly poor IT Crowd, you might wonder if there's any point wasting your time on it. I believe there is. The film is Ayoade's adaptation of Joe Dunthorne's debut novel by the same name and it is in many ways a typical coming of age story. We're thrust into the small Welsh town existence of our protagonist Oliver Tate with all its delusion, teenage suffering and humorous self absorption. Oliver is lost in the swirling romanticism of his own affectation and whimpers around Ayoade's 'indie', softly shot world, making mistakes, comically misinterpreting the universe around him and generally spluttering around in his own teenage head. His motivation? a.) to persuade his equally duffle coat-adorned girlfriend to have sex with him, b.) to prevent his mother from tossing off the neighbour and c.) to cheer up his father, who is having one of his periods of depression. This isn't going to have you pacing from the Showroom, cigarette in hand, slowly pulling in those calming vapours, wondering where the stable comfortable world you once knew has gone and if you'll ever be able to settle back into it. But if you were ever an adolescent, especially one who grew up in these Great British Isles, you'll more than likely find the tale of Oliver Tate insightfully accurate, clever and winningly urgent. Alex Turner of Arctic Monkey fame provides six specially-written acoustic solo efforts for the soundtrack, his Yorkshire witticisms and softly crooning vocals blending well with Ayoade's eccentricity to create a finished article that is a small jewel in the (more often than not) conservative and safe output of the British film industry. In my opinion, Mr Ayoade and Warp Films deserve a vigorous round of applause. )

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