Monday, December 5, 2011

Under 250: Submarine

Another one from a few months back.  This one actually feels like a million years ago. Perhaps that's what disappointment brings?
The coming of age of young Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts) was a story I thought I would love without question.   He’s an idiosyncratic teenager with pages pulled from a Wes Anderson playbook of eccentricities and mannerisms.  I’d found much to love in Joe Dunthorne’s novel, frequently laughing out loud as I read Oliver’s intricate letters of advice or the play by plays of his strikes to help his parents through their marital difficulties.  Indeed, the first half of the film was lovely and comedic, a pitch perfect British teen romp to fit neatly between Harold and Maude and the too-often forgotten Thumbsucker.  By the second act, however, Submarine had lost sight of what made it entertaining (Oliver himself) and busied itself making use of supporting Oscar winner Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor.  Where the novel charmingly addressed Oliver’s parental concerns, folding them into the narrative arc,  the film makes them his sole focus in a way that feels dwelled upon and frequently quite desperate.  Submarine searches for substance in the wrong places, dropping crucial subplots and turning a blind eye to distracting shifts in tone.  While Roberts does quite well for himself here (mostly because of his vaguely amphibious face), we lose sight of the character study and his development is slighted.  It’s unfortunate, but Submarine cut too much and became rather a disappointing bore that would have perhaps made a better short than a feature.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...