In Submergence, famed German director Wim Wenders has produced a gripping love story that pulls no punches.
The film centres on the romantic involvement between Danielle Flinders (Alicia Vikander) and James More (James McAvoy) who meet by chance in a secluded Normandy hotel.
Right from the start, the physical attraction and animal magnetism generated between the two fairly sizzles off the screen.
Their meeting comes at a difficult time, however.
Both James and Danielle are in the throes of leaving France for difficult missions.
Bio-mathematician Danielle is on a deep-sea diving assignment with worldwide scientific implications, while ‘real life’ British Secret Service agent James is off to Somalia where he is working undercover as a water engineer.
The film’s thrilling intensity increases even more when the two go their separate ways.
Having declared their love for each other, their parting becomes all the more unbearable when – despite continuous efforts and previous promises to keep in touch – Danielle cannot contact James via any means.
As time passes, she becomes more and more desperate, and the worry begins to affect her work.
This could not have come at a worse time, as Danielle is in the throes of making a major scientific breakthrough that could influence the world’s environmental future.
Of course, there is good reason for James’ lack of contact.
His spy mission has gone horribly wrong and without giving too much away, he is thrown into a hornet’s test involving Islamic terrorism and Jihadi suicide bombers.
The torture and beatings he receives do not break his spirit however, and we are always hopeful he will return alive to once again be with Danielle.
The ‘submergence’ in the movie is played out on many levels – not only in the dank, evil-smelling prisons of Somalia – but also deep under the sea in the large nine-metre, yellow, deep-water submersible in which Danielle carries out her cutting-edge research.
The film’s saving grace lies in the performances of its two lead stars who, despite an occasionally clumsy, and at times, slightly confusing script, still manage to make their roles absorbing and entertaining.
Submergence is showing exclusively at Luna Leederville from August 16.
By Mike Peeters