Submergence starts with a couple in lust after a first meeting who then go back to their jobs while thinking about each other.
Danielle Flinders (Alicia Vikander) and James More (James McAvoy) meet by chance in a remote hotel in Normandy where they both prepare for a dangerous mission. They fall in love reluctantly over a couple of days.
James heads to Somalia track down a source for suicide bombers infiltrating Europe. His cover is blown and he is taken hostage by Jihadist fighters and has no way of contacting Danny. Meanwhile, Danielle ‘Danny’ Flinders is a bio-mathematician working on a deep sea diving project to support her theory about the origin of life on our planet.
Oceans separate them but they continue to think about each other.
Danny heads down to the bottom of the ocean in her submersible, not knowing if James is still alive…
I wish the couple had meet a few more times before parting as the chance once-off meeting seems a tad unbelievable.
The film is based on the novel by J.M. Ledgard, a journalist who covered society and politics across Africa for The Economist magazine. He was inspired by his experiences living and working in Somalia.
“I was very interested in our lack of perspective of the planet we live on,” he says. “It is much bigger than we think it is, much more complicated than we think it is. At the same time it is much harder and tougher as well. I have always been obsessed with the oceans and the idea that there is clearly a lot more life in the ocean than there is on the surface, particularly the microbial life of bacteria, viruses and algae at very deep levels. This life outweighs all other life on the planet. It is older, it is tougher and stronger. And whatever happens to human beings, that life is going to keep on going. Of course, we now know that we evolved from the bottom of the ocean; that is where life began, deep in the oceans.”
The filming was completed in several difficult locations around the world, including Toulon, Brest and the Normandy coast in France, Spain, Germany, Djibouti and the Faroe Islands. And boy, is the cinematography glorious.
The acting is fantastic and I could listen to Alicia’s voice all day.
The film’s ending is unsatisfying and so vague I had to rewind it to see if I’d missed something.
Submergence is a beautiful poetic film with some faults that I hope won’t stop you from watching it.
Submergence is in Australian cinemas with a release date of Thursday 16 August 2018.
Directed by Wim Wenders
Produced by Cameron Lamb
Written by Erin Dignam
Based on Submergence by J. M. Ledgard
Starring Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, Hakeemshady Mohamed, Alexander Siddig, Alex Hafner, Celyn Jones, Darian Martin, Charlotte Rampling
Music by Fernando Velazquez
Cinematography Benoit Debie