May 1, 2010

Pirate Radio - 2009

Director: Richard Curtis
Writer: Richard Curtis
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson

"I'm an American citizen and I don't give a hootenanny goddamn about your nitpicking limey laws. I intend to broadcast from this ship 24 hours a day until the day I die. And then for a couple days after that." Quentin (Nighy) leads a raucous group of radio DJs (Hoffman, Frost, et al.) who play contemporary 1960s rock music against the wishes of the British government, especially Minister Allistair Dormandy (Branagh).

Although sketchily based in reality, the movie remains entertaining throughout. The soundtrack is flawless, the ensemble cast performs as great as any other, and the seriousness of their plight is perfectly balanced by frequent comedic beats. There's a slightly unnecessary B-plot involving paternity brought about with a somewhat forced protagonist, but it's forgiveable in the end. I'd have preferred to see the 20 minute longer British version (entitled The Boat That Rocked) for completeness' sake, but this was a fine substitute.

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