Ayoade’s debut goes down well with ‘Submarine’

— Gayathri Kanagasundaram contributed with this article

March 18th saw the release of Richard Ayoade’s directing debut at the cinemas. The comedian, known for his roles as Saboo in “The Mighty Boosh” and Maurice Moss in “The IT Crowd”, has decided to take his role behind the camera for his latest film project named “Submarine”.

“Submarine”, funnily enough has nothing to do with submarines. The film is based on a novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne about the experience of a 15 year old boy called Oliver Tate – played by newcomer Craig Roberts.


Submarine stars "Becoming Human"'s Craig Roberts as Oliver. Image: Warp Films.

Ayoade has decided to take the film in parts. The prologue sees Oliver’s life as it is before the story happens, which shows that he’s incredibly clever but refuses to face his unpopularity in school.

He proves this by promising he will lose his virginity before his birthday, and becomes attracted to Jordana Bevan (played by another newcomer Yasmin Page), a girl who likes to strike matches when she’s bored after being cheated on by the school bully.

Oliver lives with his parents (played by Sally Hawkins and Noah Tyler) who have a rather dull marriage and his mother has eyes on the mystic neighbour (played by Paddy Considine). The film is about his relationship with Jordana while trying to save his parent’s marriage.

If you enjoy action and thrills, this is not the film for you. For this is nothing more than a simple coming of age story – it’s nothing special. Plus you may find the second part of the film starts to get incredibly serious and rather dull. But they are the only negatives about the film.

The first half contained the raw awkward humour that Ayoade is famous for. Look out particularly for when his father tries to give him advice on his new girlfriend and the iconic scene when Oliver tries to seduce Jordana to the bedroom.

The camera work throughout the film is brilliant and he uses the location in Wales very well. Some other reviews have mocked it saying that it’s copying the French style. But in this film, it truly worked.

Most of all it is Ayoade’s amazing screenplay. It is clear he had really studied the book, whether we had read it or not, from cover to cover. He wrote the dialogue and knows the way the characters were supposed to act. And the real cherry on the cake is that he picked the perfect actors to go with them, especially Craig Roberts who literally embodied the role of Oliver Tate.

So, Mr. Richard Ayoade gets a congratulations. It may not be anything to do with naval policy, but give this film a shot. For it really is a true masterpiece.

One Response to Ayoade’s debut goes down well with ‘Submarine’

  1. Balaji says:

    Well accepting the review, the movie is nothing more than a coming of age story.
    Its funny that the best british comedy in years had to be too tragic and dragging most of the movie. Esp. the scene where they torch the dead dog… Jordana gives up on him and finds a new date… and he plays the 2nd side of the tape..

    Best british comedy must be awarded post the movie, wonder how this one got it before….

    I expected more from Ayoade I believe.

    Cheers,
    Balaji