It’s a period comedy set on a pirate radio ship floating in the North Sea in the 1960s. I enjoy period pieces harking back to the latter part of the 21st century – and so to that end, I enjoyed it.
A strong cast: Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, Rhys Ifans, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport – among others.
It was over-long at 2 hours and the plot was fairly shallow. Kenneth Branagh (looking like Adolf Hitler) plays a government minister on a crusade to shut down pirate radio stations.
The concept and storyline are interesting – because pirate radio was a big deal back then. Up until 1973, the BBC had a total monopoly on radio and in the 60s, very little pop music was played. Pirate radio thus filled a big void by supplying us with pop music for much of the last century.
Of course – I wasn’t around in the 1960s – but I liked the depiction of listening to pirate radio being quite covert. Teenagers listening under the covers after they’d gone to bed, workers on the night shift huddled around radios, etc. There was still some of that in the 80s when I was growing up so it did take me back somewhat.
Overall it’s fairly light fluffy stuff. I definitely wouldn’t put it in the same league as Four Weddings (which is a masterpiece to my mind!) or Bridget Jones or Love Actually. As mentioned, I liked the period reproduction, but the plotline is a bit too non-existent and the film length over long. It’s fun to watch once and is definitely a ‘watch at home’ film. Not something I’d have wanted to pay to see at the cinema, though.