Friday, October 15, 2021

Movie Review: Submergence is a Modern Retelling of Romeo and Juliet with an Equally Modern Message

Granted, there are no feuding families over the characters Danny Flinders and James More, but the star-crossed lovers are still archetypes of this romance-tragedy genre. 

Contrary to popular belief, the genre was not begun by William Shakespeare. These stories persisted over centuries before he wrote his play and culminated in tales such as the Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke (1562) as well as Palace of Pleasure by William Painter (1567). Decades later, Shakespeare restructured these narratives into his famous poetic play. 



In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, a Scotsman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance. 


 *****Spoiler Time***** 

The Breakdown

Submergence is about a man and woman who meet on vacation in France. Both waiting to go on their own professional adventures. Both unknowing of the consequence to ensue.

James More, played by James McAvoy, is a British intelligence operative. He has discovered a link between Kismayo, Somalia and an operational bomb unit in Europe. He makes the decision to return to the area under his water engineer alias. As soon as he arrives, he is taken hostage and tortured as a CIA/MI6 spy. Later, as the movie progresses, James More discovers that a couple of militant leaders of jihadists have taken command and control of the operation. In order to save his love and homeland, James activates a location device hidden in a tooth (bridge). An American strike team is sent to eliminate the threat. James dies at the scene. 

Danielle "Danny" Flinders is a bio-mathmetician, played by Alicia Vikander, who gathers samples from the Hadal layer of the mantel near the bottom of the ocean. She has trained to ride in a submersible for a chance of a lifetime: go to the depths for herself. She knows the risks yet is spurred on by the fact that her hypothesis of life being from the scum of the ocean floor has merit and must be taken seriously. However, the submersible has mechanical and technical issues, leaving the crew and herself stranded. With only five days of oxygen for them to breathe, the hope of a rescue is shattered as Danny is in the only one found in Europe. She dies of suffocation.


The Review

James More: "Death. It gets very real when you're watching somebody die in front of you. You're thinking, is this all I am? Is this all I added up to? And all the clich├ęs are true. You're thinking, why now? Why did it have to be... this happen, before I realize what life truly is? It's direct, it's immediate, and it's their whole life exposed to you."

This movie allows the characters in their most vulnerable and desperate hours to console themselves with the love the two of them shared and continue to lament. The story is a cautionary tale to those people who watch and understand the message: life is too short; take love when you can get it and never let it go. 

James More and Danny Flinders allowed their compulsion to work at any cost to cost them their enduring love to one another and also their lives. 

Was their sacrifices worth it in the end? 

Is this not a modern conundrum? Work to get ahead but to do so is to miss out on living a good life? 

There are some good points the characters make while falling in love with each other. What is death? Is this life of what we become the only thing we have amounted to? What is the life you want to live? Then why aren't you living your best life? 

To sacrifice yourself in the name of service or profession, is that not a disservice to humanity? To yourself? What is too much to ask of someone?

This film has been rated: 5.4/10 Stars on IMDB. 

The one consolation that the audience is given is after James More's death in the ocean, Danny Flinders is there to greet him on the other side. Star-crossed, yes, these two characters are, but James and Danny are afforded an ending Romeo and Juliet never received: an eternity in love with one another. 

What could any hopeless romantic ask for?  

Watched free on IMDB.


The Tally 

My review will be posted on Prime as well as IMDB. 

Prime... 4 out of 5 stars

IMDB... 8 out of 10 stars

Submergence gives us many questions to ponder about the balance in our lives and the worth we place on every waking hour. Is love or work more important? Maybe we should ask ourselves these types of questions. 

If we want a better world, then isn't it up to every single individual to live a better life that creates a better outcome than violence, hate, and criminality? 

The hero's journey... be on it. 

Let love guide your path. 


The Writer's Workshop

Movies for Writers: Submergence the classic retelling of the Greek myth of a mortal man falling in love with a sea goddess. 


For more Movie Reviews, check out Undawnted's Critiques and Reviews page as well as her IMDB and Amazon Prime profiles. 

Have a great and wonderful day.

Subscribe to Undawntable Today!

Subscribe and receive news from Undawnted on a regular basis. Updates include: book release dates publication updates discounts contests/giveaways Join Undawnted's Creative Tribe.