Submarino (Thomas Vinterberg, 2010): Denmark

Reviewed by Paulina Soto. Viewed at the Mann Chinese Theatre, AFI Filmfestival, Hollywood, CA.

Submarino, directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration, 1998)  is a captivating movie that begins with a babbling baby who is getting baptized by his older brothers and a mother who is an alcoholic who pees on the floor. You can almost feel the smell of alcohol and smoke through the screen while feeling sorry for this three young kids, seeing their lives getting destroyed.

This movie that’s based on the novel with the same name, is a gripping drama about two brothers that it has gone downhill for. We’re following them  in the cold Danish winter, when one of the brothers (Jakob Cedergren) is drinking his life away, the other one, (Peter Plaugborg) is doing what he can for his son, while doing drugs.

Along with great acting and a touching story we can’t do other than wait for a happy moment to happen to this unlucky guys. Unfortunately, the painful and tragic memories from their childhood is always haunting them when they later in the movie reconnect as brothers again at their mother’s funeral. The drugs and alcoholism is the main topic in this film and you get the feeling that the death is always lurking somewhere in the corner.

The lighting in this movie gave a realistic feeling and the cinematography was excellent. The cold and the snow gave the movie a sad feeling, even the locations gave everything a desolate touch. I liked how the director let the audience put the pieces together, instead of explaining everything with obvious dialogue. He has an unique style of telling the story and that’s what kept my interest. He used exciting transitions and good looking camera angels.

Though the story was sad, and even if you felt sorry for everybody that was involved, it was a beautiful movie after all. About reunion with brothers and how a father is putting his own life in a risk to give his son a good future.

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