The Boat That Rocked!!

I’m not really sure why the original title, ‘The Boat That Rocked’, was changed to ‘Pirate Radio’ for North American audiences – I thought the original title captured the essence of the movie much more, however, am not really sure why 20 minutes was cut out from the original either (and the cuts are noticeable to someone who has a keen eye)!  I really hope the original movie in its entirety is on the DVD release!

Welcome to ‘Radio Rock’, a boat operating off the coast of the UK during a time when rock music was deemed obscene and illegal to broadcast within government jurisdiction.   Broadcasting around the clock, these radio ‘Pirates’ are having a smashing time living the dream, immersed in the music of the time (which is some of the greatest music ever produced even today). The owner of the station is Quentin (Bill Nighy, whose talent always far exceeds expectation).  His teenage godson, Carl (Tom Sturridge a welcome newcomer), has been sent to the ship after being suspended from school (Really, his mother – queue Emma Thompson cameo –  thought it was a great idea to ship him off to a party boat).   From Carl’s point of view, we are introduced to the rest of the boat’s inhabitants. 

The DJs on the vessel include The Count (Played brilliantly by Philip Seymour Hoffman, having the most fun I’ve seen him have in a role since Twister)as the only American on board; Dave (Nick Frost most notable as Simon Pegg’s side kick in Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) who woman for some reason find alluring all through the film (couldn’t quite figure that one out); Simon, who’s only wish is to find his one true love (Played by Chris O’Dowd who I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll see a lot more from in the future); the mysterious Bob (I wanted to call him ‘Silent’ Bob!  Lol!  Played by Ralph Brown); Mark, who doesn’t speak much either (Tom Wisdom) however doesn’t really need to; Angus (Rhys Darby who played one of my favorite characters in Yes Man); and lesbian ship cook, Felicity (Katherine Parkinson). They are soon joined by British DJ, Gavin (Rhys Ifans, who is hilarious as usual), which immediately causes tensions with The Count. 

The British government on the other hand is trying desperately to shut down the rogue ship stations, which is lead by Minister Sir Alistair Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh playing smug and pompous extremely well) and his assistant, Twatt (played by Jack Davenport, whom I love and am currently enamored with on Flash Forward).

This was an enjoyable movie, even with the strange edits.  It would have been nice to get a bit more character development as there were a lot of characters crammed into this film however maybe that is expplained better in the missing 20 minutes of the film.  The cast was stellar and played off each other quite well PLUS they looked like were having a lot of fun while filming, which was nice to feel that coming through on the screen. 

If you are a fan of late 60’s rock, you will LOVE this film!!  From the beatles, Dylan, Hendrix and many more, the soundtrack might be worth a purchase.

Here’s hoping the DVD has a great gag reel and the additional 20 minutes that was left on the American cutting room floor.

3 thoughts on “The Boat That Rocked!!”

  1. yep i agree great review. the film does sound like it rocks. i massed it in the cinema but i will certainly be getting the dvd, sounds brillient. good going .
    film fantastic

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