Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pirate Radio (movie)

This movie tells a fictionalized story of the Pirate Radio movement in England in the mid-60’s. The government-run, mainstream radio stations would not play r’n’r on a regular basis, so “pirates” took it upon themselves to broadcast from boats docked in international waters, away from the laws of the land.

While the plot is fairly minimal – a young man joins the crew at the behest of his mother, who is known to everyone for a reason that is never explained (apart from apparently being quite the slut in the late 40’s), and government officials on land try to shut down the pirates – the acting is fun and funny, the costuming is terrific and pretty damn authentic and the music, of course, is stellar. Really not a bad song on the entire soundtrack, despite the fact that there was plenty of drek on the mainstream radio at this time. There are a couple of background tunes that are not from the time, but I believe that everything that the DJs are supposed to be playing are correct.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman puts in a enthusiastic performance as the token American DJ on board and Bill Nighy (the singer from the reunited band in Still Crazy) makes a good captain. The rest of the DJs and crew are individual characters and all are appropriately stylish and/or goofy, as is required in a good comedy.

This isn’t deep by any means and certainly isn’t meant as a documentary, but for those, like me, who love rock’n’roll, this is a great depiction of this intense love and dedication.