Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem or unfairly maligned masterpiece – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of Richard Ayoade’s offbeat coming-of-age drama Submarine. Here are five reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. The soundtrack
Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner composed the captivating original songs on the movie’s soundtrack, which appear throughout. A little less ‘rock n roll’ than his usual sound maybe, but the soft, irresistible melodies act perfectly as a backdrop to a troubled teenage life.
2. It’s Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut
From computer geek to film-making prodigy, Ayoade adapted his script from a novel by Jon Dunthorne. Spoiler alert: he’s not an IT geek anymore; I know it will be hard for some of you to comprehend. But it’s true.
3. The obsession with colour
In quite an arty move, Ayoade has each of his main characters subliminally associated with a certain colour: Oliver being blue, Jordana red, Jill yellow and so on. Although a little avant garde, it actually adds a whole new level of character depth – and melancholically creates a solid mood around all of these characters.
4. Craig Roberts is hilarious
Despite being a young actor in his first feature film, lead star Roberts seems to fully understand the humour of the film, and bases his terrific performance around that. Through the eyes of an intelligent but delusion young Welsh lad, a heart-felt comedy emerges. My personal favourite line, said without any irony? “My mother is worried I have mental problems. I found a book about teenage paranoid delusions during a routine search of my parents’ bedroom.”
5. It has a major star as the Exec
Ditching the dizzy cinematographic highrise of Hollywood for a story set in a wind-swept patch of Wales, Ben Stiller stands as the Executive Producer of this little-known gem. Obviously seeing potential in Ayoade, Stiller seems quietly modest about his role with the production, but you have to give him credit. The man knows comedy.
Watch the trailer for Submarine:
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