I feel my life would have been significantly poorer had not made the journey across the Atlantic. Originally released months ago in United Kingdom under the title , Focus Features has deigned to invest in importing . Needless to say, I found the film enjoyable and fascinating.
The plot may not be what audience members expected had they seen the trailer. Contrary to what information may have been spread, the story is a fiction based on the general situation of pop radio stations in the UK rather than a dramatization of facts.
However, the story spun by writer/director Richard Curtis holds little room for disappointment as it fills the theater with raucous juvenile humor and hilarious situations as it follows protagonist “Young” Carl’s (Tom Sturridge) transition to the floating rock and roll transmitter Radio Rock.
He is greeted by the heavily varied group of eccentric disc jockeys and technicians that fill the 24/7 broadcast of 1966 pop music. Running the gamut from Felicity (Katherine Parkinson), the ship’s lesbian cook, to the silent playboy Midnight Mark (Tom Wisdom) the crew becomes Carl’s strange and irresponsible surrogate family.
As expected, this opens a floodgate of humorous situations into which Pirate Radio takes the plunge. Of course this lifestyle and its intention to broadcast it in the most positive light has ruffled the feathers of Sir Alistair Dormandy, a minister in Her Majesty’s government who attempts to remove Radio Rock from the airwaves.
Now, as stated before, this story is not about The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman) establishing a renegade force of DJs to subvert a UK ban of rock and roll in an expression of American freedom. True, The Count is one of the most seen and heard of the cast and participates in a most daring game of chicken. However, he is little more than an individual player in a much larger game.
Yes, it is possible to label this movie as shallow based on the small amount of character development, but in my opinion, any character development would have bogged down the humor. For fans of Wes Anderson and his tales, let me just say will be lacking in character depth and narrative, but I enjoyed it for its ability to create such laughter with simplicity.
This film has a spectacular cast and an absolutely glorious soundtrack. Filling out more of the oddest the Radio Rock gentlemen are the station manager Quentin (Bill Nighy), Doctor Dave (Nick Frost), the “bearded beast” Bob Silver (Ralph Brown) and “king of the airwaves” Gavin Cavanagh (Rhys Ifans). The comedic talent of such a cast should be self-evident.
There may be a few laughless jokes, but this is where the soundtrack leaps to save the moment with the most premium sounds of rock and roll.
Filling the theater with the sweet sounds of The Turtles, The Kinks and The Hollies, the moment cannot possibly be recorded as anything except as a positive memory.
For the people considering seeing this movie, whether it is in spite of or due to the theatrical trailer, I can’t fully describe how has captured my favor with its humor, story and music.
It provides a grand opportunity in these stressful times to laugh with pure auditory enjoyment that I was glad not to have missed.