Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Comedy The Boat That Rocked

The Boat That Rocked

“It’s 1966, the greatest era for British rock and roll, but BBC radio plays less than 45 minutes of pop music a day”. A simple statement like this sets the scene for this 1960s period movie about a pirate radio station anchored in the North Sea that broadcasts rock music to Britain on the illegal station “Radio Rock”. Although pirate radio is very popular, and technically not breaking any laws, the British government makes the decision to put an end to pirate radio.

Plot wise, there’s not a lot going on outside of the premise that the British government wishes to shut down all forms of pirate radio. A few small storylines emerge; competitions between radio anchors, one characters search for his father, who is possibly on the boat, a few love triangles. Mostly by-lines of the major plot, they work mainly to develop the characters, rather than help the story along. With a fabulously mixed cast starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Count – a lead anchor), Bill Nighy (Quentin – the strange leader), Rhys Ifans (Gavin – the competing anchor), Nick Frost (Doctor Dave – another anchor), and a number of other stars, The Boat That Rocked managed to weave hilariously likeable characters around a simple plot: keep the music going, and keep the boat afloat. Outside of that, there’s not much going on.

From a movie about radio pirates you would expect a killer soundtrack, and The Boat That Rocked truly delivers. The soundtrack was cleverly used to enhance the story line, and to help it move along. Lyrics of the selected songs weave perfectly with the dialogue from the script, to create a perfect blend of accompanied story telling. But the soundtrack goes beyond this. The Boat That Rocked is a fabulously researched, well planned look at alternative music throughout the 60s, a perfect snapshot of the rock n roll era. We’re instantly transported into the rock and roll world as All Day and All of the Night by the Kinks provides the first of many killer tracks for this fabulous movie. The Kinks, The Easybeats, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Cream, The Who, David Bowie, these are just some of the top notch inclusions for the 60-plus tracks heard in The Boat That Rocked. A lesser minded person, with a poor ear for music could have really messed this up. Thankfully, the writers know their music. If not, The Boat That Rocked would probably not have been as successful, or as easy to like. Put simply, that is the reason why this film is such a pleasure to watch – music lovers the world round are instantly connected with like minded individuals, who simply want to listen to great tunes, with great people. A funny, up lifting story about a little boat that could; three stars.

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