Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
Music in the Bible
Dancing in the Bible
Drunkenness in the Bible
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer
|Featuring||Bill Nighy (as Quentin), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Count), Gemma Arterton (Desiree), Rhys Ifans (Gavin Cavanagh), Emma Thompson (Charlotte), Kenneth Branagh, Nick Frost, Tom Sturridge, Rhys Darby, Tom Brooke, Ike Hamilton, Chris O'Dowd, Talulah Riley, Tom Wisdom, Will Adamsdale, Ralph Brown, Olivia Llewellyn, Jack Davenport, January Jones, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes, Francesca Longrigg, Kirsty Mather, Katherine Parkinson, Laurence Richardson, Stephen Moore, Olegar Fedoro, Dora Clouttick, Lana Davidson, Duncan Foster, Kristofer Gummerus, Sinead Matthews, Sarah Forster, Poppy Delvingne, Catherine Ashton, Guðmundur Auðunsson, Caroline Boulton, Gareth Derrick, Giovanna Falcone, Lucy Fleming, William Ilkley, Katie Lyons, Christian Wolf-La'Moy, Chrissie Wunna|
“Love Actually,” “Notting Hill”
|Producer||Medienproduktion Prometheus, Portobello Studios, Tightrope Pictures, Working Title Films, Hilary Bevan Jones, Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin, Richard Curtis, Eric Fellner, Emma Freud, Ronaldo Vasconcellos|
“1 Boat. 8 DJs. No Morals.”
The 1960’s was considered a golden age in rock and roll, especially in England, where bands such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who, as well as countless others were winning the hearts and minds of teenagers across the country. This was also a decade of much stricter regulation regarding content on television, as well as across radio waves. In fact, such music wasn’t played on the radio, that is until radio DJ’s started setting up stations on boats out on the ocean, and because they were broadcasting from off shore, they were free to play their choice of music. “Pirate Radio” is a fictional account of one of these boats and their struggle with the British government to keep rock and roll on the radio.
While there isn’t technically a main character, the viewer is taken aboard the ship “Radio Rock” with Carl, an eighteen year old who’s just been kicked out of school, and his mother has sent him to stay with his godfather, Quentin, who happens to be the ship’s captain. It’s there that Carl meets the DJ’s who live out at sea, broadcasting in shifts all 24 hours of the day. The DJ’s range in personality and appearance from the famous American ‘The Count’ to raucous ‘Dr. Dave’ to good hearted ‘Simon,’ and so on. It’s with this gang of misfit DJ’s that Carl finds a family, a home, and a love for good music. While millions in the UK love “Radio Rock,” some aren’t too happy with it, specifically government minister Dormandy who makes it his goal to shut down the radio station within the year by any means necessary.
This sounds like a cut and dry plot, but “Pirate Radio” is anything but a movie that moves with a purpose. Just like the music of the era, the film is more about the journey itself than about the destination. It lingers on multiple scenes just to establish the camaraderie had by these DJ’s, even though their backgrounds are incredibly diverse. While there are bits and pieces of plot revelations, “Pirate Radio” urges you to enjoy the good times and the music as much as those on screen.
Sometimes it’s easy to enjoy the film for what it is. With an incredible cast including the likes of the amazing Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote”, “Doubt”) as ‘The Count’, Nick Frost (“Shaun of the Dea”) as ‘Dr. Dave’, and Bill Nighy (“Love Actually”) as Captain Quentin, the actors are clearly having fun, and because of that it’s easy for the audience to, as well. The soundtrack, as you might expect, is worth the price of admission alone, as each song keeps your feet tapping. There are also some genuinely funny and heartfelt moments in the film.
Unfortunately, and all too often, it’s a much tougher film to enjoy. As was prevalent during the time and was a byproduct of the music, casual sex and sexual dialogue are a constant during “Pirate Radio.” Whether it’s sexual innuendos made by the DJ’s, the attempt to make sure poor Carl doesn’t stay a virgin, or the homosexual cook, a good bit of the film’s jokes revolve around sex. While the language is very strong, as well, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of drug content in the film, especially considering the era in which it takes place.
“Pirate Radio” is a movie that is filled with funny moments and funny characters, especially if you like British humor and ensemble comedies. It’s realistic to think that a movie like this would have some objectionable content, but unfortunately the heavy amount makes it tough to recommend. Add to that the fact that it carries no real redeemable message to Christian viewers, and you’re probably better off sitting at home with an old Beatles’ vinyl on the stereo.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.