I remember the first time I watched a Richard Curtis film. I was 14 years old and I sat down with my grandma to watch a little film called Four Weddings and a Funeral which then went on to receive a Best Picture nod. I have always been just as interested in who made a movie as much as I was interested in the final product.
Since then I have always had Richard Curtis on my radar as he single-handedly introduced me to the greatness that is the British film industry, whether through his early work in television (The Black Adder and Mr. Bean) or his more well known films (Notting Hill and the adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary). I am always interested to see what witty line of dialogue or genuine emotion he might display for us next, which brings us to his new movie, The Boat That Rocked. Or, as it has been Americanized in the name of profit, Pirate Radio.
In 1966, a motley crew of radio pirates are sitting on a boat in the ocean playing rock and pop music 24 hours a day for the good people of Britain. This is their only means as the British government denies it being played locally and is trying its damnedest to outlaw the boats in their midst. The crew of Radio Rock has the biggest following and extremely loyal listeners, much to the government’s dismay.
“Young” Carl (Tom Sturridge) has just come aboard Radio Rock and is introduced to his godfather Quentin (brilliantly played by Bill Nighy) and it is explained that his mom has made the “spectacular mistake” of sending him to the high seas to learn a thing or two and is told it is punishment for smoking, both drugs and cigarettes. This is of course responded to by Quentin with a “Well done.”
Carl is introduced to the crew consisting of head DJ, The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in full Twister Dusty mode); News John (Will Adamsdale); Dave (surprisingly suavely portrayed by Nick Frost of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz glory); Angus (Rhys Darby, Murray from The Flight of the Conchords), and his roommate Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke).