Some films are hard to categorise, and Submergence is one of them.
It’s a love story and a thriller that takes us into two very different worlds.
Talented bio-mathematician Danny (Alicia Vikander) is preparing for the dangerous mission of deep sea diving to find scientific answers about how and why we are on this planet. Posing as a water engineer, British Secret Service agent James (James McAvoy) is on a mission to Somalia to track down a source of suicide bombers infiltrating Europe.
The two protagonists meet and fall in love just before their respective missions. As they go their separate ways, each wonders if the other is surviving, and we follow their separate journeys.
As Danny is about to take the risk of deep sea diving, relying on submarine technology for survival, James is captured by jihadists and subjected to violence and deprivation.
In production notes, McAvoy explains that the major players in the story, Danny, James and the jihadists, are so strongly connected to their beliefs they are prepared to die for them; they all face the possibility that their jobs may result in death.
“It was really important that my character believed in his God, his country, his mission, his purpose,” McAvoy says.
One of the most powerful scenes in the film is when James has survived a firing squad and is walking away from them, into the sea. As he looks up, he makes the sign of the cross and begins a fervent recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.
McAvoy sums up the film’s message succinctly: “It’s about a love for your mission, a love for your belief, a love for your planet, a love between the characters, a love for your God; it is a love for all those things.”
+ Passionate performances
– Violence and mild sex scenes