I approached this with a sense of restraint and a reserved nature; a staring role in one of the least appealing comedies of recent years (The IT Crowd) and a Kasabian music video under his belt, it was not the most of enticing introduction. I’m always endeared to Richard Ayoade’s creative output when he is a bit man - a talking head on Armando Ianucci’s Time Trumpet or his flying visits in The Mighty Boosh. So it is with great conviction that ‘Submarine’ considerably questions my opinions and preconceptions.
The deadpan humour and Wes Anderson-isms that run through the film were fully expected, however the subtle execution and beautiful camera work Ayoade continually demonstrates were not. While many will accept this film fully as a comedy, it is its direction and cinematography that make this not only a joyful experience, but a cinematic one too. There’s a strange parallel that runs between Alex Turner’s quaintly fragile soundtrack and lead star Craig Roberts’ resemblance of a young Turner, creating a strange bond that makes the character embody the music as much as the music embodies the character and story.
The acting is supremely executed and perfectly timed, creating a wonderful world in which the parameters of humour for children and grown ups meet. Paddy Considine’s turn as the mulleted mystic is as delightful as it is a bit crap, which of course it’s fully supposed to be. Imagine Tom Cruise in ‘Magnolia’, minus all the sex, charisma and money, and move it to a Welsh suburb and a personalised transit van, then you have Paddy Considine’s character.
‘Submarine’ is touching, endearing and funny, and while the deadpan can be seen coming in a lot of scenes it still throws up a few surprises that makes the journey a joyous one. Ayoade is emerging as a genuine UK film talent and with his sights set on a Dostoevsky adaptation for his next film, he is clearly one with as much ambition as he has talent.