Not easy be­ing teen

SUB­MA­RINE Di­rec­tor: Richard Ayoade ( fea­ture de­but) Stars: Craig Roberts, Yas­min Paige, Noah Tay­lor, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Con­si­dine

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

What seems so shal­low can be so deep

A SUB­LIME com­ing-of-age com­edy based on the novel by Joe Dun­thorne, Sub­ma­rine takes us into the murky mind of its un­re­li­able teenage nar­ra­tor.

It is not that 15-year-old Oliver Tate ( Craig Roberts) is not to be trusted, it’s just the tiny periscope through which he peers at the world around him is slightly out of fo­cus.

This is the uni­ver­sal truth of what it is like to be a teenager. You make a lot of mis­takes. You lie a lit­tle to cover your tracks. You think a lot about what you should do next.

It is a weird and mys­ti­cal cy­cle. Should it ever end, you just might find you’ve be­come a fully-fledged adult. Worse things could hap­pen. In a coastal town in Wales in the mid1980s, about the worst thing that could hap­pen to Oliver is re­jec­tion by his school­yard crush, Jor­dana Be­van ( Yas­min Paige). To Oliver’s never-end­ing re­lief, this spiky, moody young wo­man al­lows him to be­come her boyfriend – kind of.

To Oliver’s never-end­ing dis­may, ev­ery minute with Jor­dana is a test. If his nerves aren’t al­ready shot, Oliver must also process the dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity his par­ents’ mar­riage is fall­ing apart.

The first sign is the dim­mer switch in their bed­room is no longer in reg­u­lar use. Now Oliver’s mum ( Sally Hawkins) is openly fawn­ing over an old flame ( Paddy Con­si­dine) who has moved in down the street. Oliver’s dad ( Noah Tay­lor) – just like his son – is too lost in his own thoughts to fig­ure out what to do.

While this is un­doubt­edly fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory to be cov­ered, there is a fresh­ness of per­spec­tive that is a joy to be­hold.

First-time writer-di­rec­tor Richard Ayoade ( best known in Aus­tralia as Moss on TV’s The IT Crowd) achieves a per­fect bal­ance be­tween the bizarre and the bit­ter­sweet that is ut­terly ir­re­sistible through­out.

A strange yet to­tally ac­ces­si­ble comic sen­si­bil­ity fused by a bril­liant script to a brace of pitch-per­fect per­for­mances seals the whole deal.

The over­all ef­fect? Ev­ery dumb thing you did ( or might yet do) as a youth will come rush­ing at you in all its awk­ward glory.

It’s the best film of its kind since Wes An­der­son’s 1998 mas­ter­piece Rush­more.

A true gem awaits you here.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.