Billy's Film Reviews.

A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!

Submarine – 2012


The directorial debut of Richard Ayoade tells the delightful coming of age story of young Welsh teen and emotional brick wall Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts).

Set in industrial Swansea, “Submarine” follows the oblivious but nosey and curious Tate on his quest for love with the renegade rebel and overall bad influence Jordana (Yasmin Paige).

A charmingly well constructed film with a pleathora of symbolism and awkwardly hilarious dialogue, “Submarine” is perfect from its brilliant performances including Noah Taylor as the shy, loving and awkward marine biologist father Lloyd; to the original score written, produced and performed by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.

The relationship between Ayoade, Turner and The Arctic Monkeys is definitely potent, with Ayoade directing “Arctic Monkeys: Live at The Apollo” in 2008, notably incorporating similar effects and techniques exhibited in “Submarine”.


The depressing setting and low lighting throughout the film can be seen as just two of many representations of Oliver Tate. The enigmatic pubescent teen is confronting, confusing, conflicting, constraining and above all contrasting to most others, especially Jordana.

Amongst the dull, dreary and colourless scenery, the splashes of symbolism through colour really bring out the deeper nuance’s in “Submarine”, whether it’s the fade to blue and red as opposed to the traditional black, the costumes or just the general association with blue and red for Oliver and Jordana.

Striking features like these really show how much devotion and attention has gone into producing this wonderful debut piece.

The quirky style of “Submarine” is reminiscent of the French New Wave, in particular 1960’s “Breathless” or “A bout de soufflé” in its creative and unconventional editing, common breaking of the fourth wall and of course the emotionally undulating protagonists.


There is really not much not to adore about “Submarine”; whether it’s the story itself, the flawless performances, the intricate cinematographic detail, the soundtrack or the incredible beginning to a directorial career. Not matter what you pick out of film, it will continue to offer up more and more.

A near-perfect film, beautifully executed in nearly every possible way, the highlight of 2012, but after all that, a 5 out of 5 needs just a little bit more.



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