Weekend Movies: Five Reasons to Watch Pirate Radio
This week, I’m recommending 2009’s Pirate Radio. It’s about a group of DJs that play rock music from a boat in the 1960s when you couldn’t broadcast it from the mainland in Britain. Not everyone likes this film, and I’m aware of that. However, I do like it, and I think it’s got some merit. I have my reasons, and I’m happy to share them. So if you’re in the mood for something with a bit of snark, head on over to iTunes or Google Play and give this one a chance.
|Groovy cats right here.|
Some of the largest complaints I’ve heard about the film stem from the fact that there’s a huge soap opera going on. To this extent, this film does indeed have a lot going on. Here’s the thing, though: if you’re familiar with the revolutionary scenes throughout history, you’ll realize that every major social revolution had a shit ton of drama associated with it. From the Renaissance to the British romantics to the rock and roll scene, everyone was sleeping with everyone else, there were petty squabbles to be had, and someone was most likely arrested multiple times. So yes, the plot has a lot going on. But that just makes it more real. There’s major dramz in upheaval.
I grew up on music from this era, in addition to the standard hair band diet that a child born in 1980 endured. I have very fond memories of listening to what is now referred to as Classic Rock in the car with my parents, and it’s how I managed to learn quite a few songs by The Who as a kid. In addition to The Who, this soundtrack also boasts The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Marvin Gaye, and The Hollies. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be lip syncing with half the damn movie.
This is casting porn. So many actors of British comedy here that I love. Jack Davenport. Nick Frost. Bill Nighy. Rhys Ifans. Chris O’Dowd. Given, I could live without Tom Sturridge (I’ve actually heard of him referred to as looking like a pillow weeper during sex, which is apt here). However, the presence of Katherine Parkinson more than makes up for it. Any film that includes the powerhouse that is known as Jen Barber is okay in my book. I totally wanted her to scream, “TAXI!”
|Get over here, Ifans.|
Kenneth Branagh’s Dormandy is a total bitch. From his nasty comments about subordinates’ hair cuts to looking for any way to get the illegal radio crews busted, he’s the beaureaucratic asshole that spoils everyone’s fun. Branagh has a field day with this, making sure to inject sheer delight into every comment and interaction. It’s another reason why we love Ken.
I have a confession to make: I run with podcasters lately. This group is by far and away some of the most balls-out fun you will have. They’re excellent conversationalists, their tastes are impeccable, and they know their shit. The group of DJs in this film remind me not only of the podcasters I know (and the bonds they share with each other), but also the people that listen to said podcasts. There’s something wonderful about listening to something either by yourself or with a group of people, knowing that somewhere, some else is listening as well. It turns into a shared experience. And just like that, you manage to become part of a community without having to open your mouth. All you need to do to join the club is listen.
|Where we go one, we go all.|