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The Boat That Rocked – Film Night

Sunday, 9th September, 2018

The Boat That Rocked Film Review

Happy Sunday!

I was having a browse around at what films to watch, and I came across The Boat That Rocked. It’s not a new film and was released in 2009 but I hadn’t seen it before, and the title can be a bit misleading because it could literally be about anything.

It’s written and directed by Richard Curtis and stars Bill Nighy among others, and is a comedy style film set in the 1960’s and is based on a true story surrounding pirate radio.

I knew some of the background of the film since it’s from the real world. Back in the olden days before lots of radio stations and then the Internet, the choice of BBC radio was limited in terms of the music which was played, heavily influenced by a playlist. With not much other choice, pirate radio stations were set up to cater for the pop and rock music which wouldn’t get airtime.

Pirate radio stations were set up in the middle of the sea, and since it was international waters they were somewhat safe from the government, who were not fans, and tried and eventually shut them down.

The film is based around a ship and (fictional) pirate radio station called Radio Rock, which has several DJs who all broadcast from the ship, and since it’s in the middle of the sea, live there too. A 17 year old young boy Carl goes on the ship, as he’s been expelled from school, and is welcomed by Quentin, his godfather and who runs the ship, and is accepted by the other DJs who are there.

All the DJs and people on board and have their own nicknames as radio DJs did back in the day. There’s “News” who’s the newsreader, “The Count” who’s an American, DJ “Doctor” Dave, “Thick” Kevin, Angus “The Nut” Nutsford, “Simple” Simon, “Midnight” Mark, “Smooth” Bob Silver, and Gavin, a legend brought out of retirement and rival of The Count. There’s also Felicity who’s the cook and lesbian, and only woman on the ship.

There is plenty of banter, and since “Young” Carl is a virgin, some of the boys decide to make it their mission to help him out, and on his 18th birthday Quentin brings his niece onto the boat, however she’s led astray by DJ Dave who sleeps with her.

A lot of the film is about how the government, and particular one of the ministers is tasked to shut down the pirate radio stations, and puts his junior, aptly named “Twatt” in charge of finding a way to shut them down. For them, it’s a game of cat and mouse trying to find ways of shutting them down.

If you haven’t seen the film I don’t want to spoil the plot or go into too much more detail, but it’s safe to say I enjoyed it. It’s such a good film with a lot of characters. It is a proper British film with British humour, I love that.

It is on for quite a while, over 2 hours, so if it sounds like something you’d want to watch, I can recommend that it’s worth it.


Michael Adams

Written By: Michael

Founder and editor of Michael 84, A UK men's blog covering everything in fashion, style, tech, grooming, fragrances and lifestyle.


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