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Submarino

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Oct 11, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Neglected by an abusive, alcoholic mother, two young brothers grow into emotionally limited, damaged adults in SUBMARINO, an award-winning Danish drama from acclaimed director Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration, Dear Wendy) based on the 2007 novel Submarino by Jonas T. Bengtsson. The winner of Scandinavias top film award, SUBMARINO tells the unforgettable story of two brothers, long estranged and haunted by a dark secret buried in their past, who live separate lives in modern day Copenhagen. Nick (Jakob Cedergren), a violent ex-con, tries to help out an old friend, but falls quickly into old habits. Meanwhile, his brother (Peter Plaugborg), raises his son, but is unable to escape the spectre of addiction. Each on a path to self-destruction, they must find each other before its too late.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jakob Cedergren, Peter Plaugborg
  • Directors: Thomas Vinterberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005DEUEW2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,821 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on September 15, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg has yet to receive the attention of his fellow Dogme 95 compatriot Lars von Trier. While both have broken the strict rules of this back-to-basics film movement, Vinterberg has stayed closer to the principles of naturalistic storytelling. Von Trier, a born provocateur, seems more inclined to be labeled the "bad boy" of international cinema creating pieces that challenge conventional narrative and viewer expectation with aggressive glee. Vinterberg, however, has a quieter approach. His devastating "The Celebration" (Festen) is one of my absolute favorite films--a potent brew of family dysfunction that you're not likely to forget. Interestingly enough, he also served up one of my least favorite movies as well. "Dear Wendy" (with von Trier taking a screenplay credit) is an ill-conceived gun control parable that I found painful to sit through. But the power to elicit strong feelings (both good and bad) is a mark of a great director in my opinion. I'd rather see someone try something different and not succeed as opposed to sticking to formulaic committee moviemaking. With "Submarino," Vinterberg has stripped away all artifice to create one of the most subtle and powerful films that I've seen in quite some time.

The movie opens up with two young brothers in the heart of an all-too-familiar scene of neglect. Raising their baby brother, as well as each other, in the absence of an alcoholic mother--the moments are heartbreakingly tender and sad. When an unspeakable tragedy occurs, you know that it will have long range emotional repercussions for the brothers. The film fast forwards to adulthood--and each brother is given a segment of the film in an overlapping narrative device. Both are still struggling and trying to put their lives back together.
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The Scandinavians are excellent story tellers. In large part thanks to the Dogme 95 movement which blossomed in 1995, film makers schooled in that era are now coming of age. Lone Scherfig (An Education, One Day), Susanne Bier (In a Better World, After the Wedding), Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration-his best in my opinion-and Submarino), and the Lion King of them all Lars Von Trier (Melancholia, Breaking the Waves) are all fine craftsman who know know how to tell a good yarn. I happened upon Danish film quite accidentally and now understand why it's taking its place at the film making table. Submarmino however was too dark and gloomy for me. Kudos are to be given to the director Thomas Vinterberg, however, for over half of the cast were novices which lent a very realistic feel to the story. Almost too realistic. Still, I'd recommend this film over your usual Hollywood fare.
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No, this is not a movie about a Spanish or Italian submarine, but a story about two Danish brothers. As children they had no father, and their mother was a fall down drunk. They separate in adult life, and this is what most of the story is about. One is an alcoholic, the other into needle drugs. Needles has a kid who he can't support, so he turns to dealing. I think he wants the kid to have what he didn't no matter the consequences. Alki wants to recover, and to help himself and friends. This movie somehow got on my wish list, and I added to an order to make the free shipping limit. Glad I did, it was pretty decent
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Format: DVD
Submarino is one of the most troubling films I've ever seen. Even more than, say, King of Devil's Island, it makes painfully clear just how costly the loss of innocence can be. It's not an easy process for any of us, but the least fortunate suffer the deepest kind of emotional brutalization. Imagine two brothers, both approaching middle school age, who have no humane choice but to care for an infant sibling in an atmosphere suffused with alcoholism, indifference, and cruelty. Though untrained and ignorant of the needs of a baby, they take pride and pleasure in doing what seems morally right and technically correct, and they love the child. Given their inevitable limitations, however, the death of the infant comes as no surprise, except, perhaps, to the brothers.

One wonders how they survived their own earliest years, and we are struck by their decency and their loving natures. Still again, it's no surprise when, as adults, neither has escaped the emotional demons that were born during childhood and adolescence.

As is often the case with abused children, their lives, at first blush, seem to have gone in opposite directions. One drinks large quantities of beer and lifts weights to better prepare him for a hard world where strength and toughness count. A working class Lad who lives a life of little promise and even less meaning. He remains, though, self-sufficient and durable, neither dependent nor despondent. Its easy to imagine that he could go on more or less indefinitely in much the same way -- little to lose and nothing much gained.

While it's not as clear as it might be, the younger brother has taken a different path. He looks and acts the part of a nerd, but one who has attained middle class status.
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Brooding, but rewarding viewing.
Yes, it's about two brothers who were severely traumatized in childhood. And yes, they have not been able to adjust and create a "normal" life, with one recently released from jail (the reason of which is not divulged ) and one an addict. But as somber as it may seem, both retained their "humanity", as manifested in their intact capacity to care and love. One taking the blame for a crime he didn't commit to protect a friend and the other caring and loving his son.Their love for each other also intact. The end, although maybe uncertain of the future, gives a sense of "closure" and love. Jakob Cedergren proves himself (as in other films) to be a formidable actor with a quiet but strong presence.
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