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November 13, 2009
Review - " Pirate Radio "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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There is a clash of egos between two of the top DJs on the boat that unfolds in comedy highjinks as they dare each other
to see who is chicken or not.  The other crew and DJs sometimes get caught up in the mix all the while the young 18 year
old god-son of the ship and station owner is attempting to lose his virginity with the help of one of the DJs.  In a sad, but
funny way, both his attempts to have his cherry popped fail and both times it is because of the very man who is attempting
to help him.

With boatloads of adoring women (including
Bond girl Gemma Arterton and January Jones
of "Mad Men”) visiting the platter-spinning
pirates every couple weeks, and round-the-
clock revelry recalling the debauchery of
Delta House, Curtis’ film is as chaotic and
anarchic as the ’60s themselves, fueled by a
sizzling soundtrack studded with hits from the
Kinks ("All Day and All of the Night”),
the Easybeats ("Friday on My Mind”), the
Stones ("Jumpin’ Jack Flash”), the Who
("My Generation,” "I Can See For Miles”),
Procol Harum ("A Whiter Shade of Pale”)
Martha & the Vandellas ("Dancing in the
Street”) and more than 50 others.

Radio Rock’s controversial on-air antics
have ruffled the feathers of a government
minister who instructs his subordinate, named
Twatt no less,  to find a way to take down
pirate radio, despite its popularity among the pop hungry masses. As Quentin so aptly puts it "Governments loath people
being free”.  After a couple of attempts to deprive the station of advertising funding backfire, Twatt encounters a news story
of a fishing boat whose call for help failed to get through because of Radio Rock’s powerful signal swamping the frequency
and realises that this can be used to ban pirate radio for good. The crew of the rocking boat has to figure a way to pull
together and keep their 24/7 party afloat and the music alive.  “I intend to broadcast from this ship until the day I die…. then
for a couple days after that”

A relentlessly stuffy and intolerant government minister (an excellent, straight-faced comic turn from Kenneth Branagh) is
leading the charge to pull the plug on pirate radio and sink it once and for all. “That’s the whole point of being the
government.  If you don’t like something, you simply make it illegal...”.  He proposes the creation of the Marine Offences Act,
which passes through Parliament without any shown opposition.
Rhys ifans broadcasting Radio Rock from aboard Pirate Radio
Talulah Riley in bed with Nick Frost in Porate Radio
Pirate Radio - movie poster
Pirate Radio
Directed by: Richard Curtis
Starring: Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Rhys Ifans,
Kenneth Branagh, Gemma Arterton, Talulah Riley, January Jones,
Emma Thompson, Jack Davenport, Tom Sturridge

Writer-director Richard Curtis ("Love Actually”) has launched one of
the funniest ensemble comedies of the year, inspired by the actual
events of his youth when, in the home country of world-changing
musical acts such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who, the
government-run British Broadcasting Co. (BBC) aired little more than
two hours of rock or pop music each week.

It is 1966 where life and love have a different meaning.  Love was free,
life was relaxed and everyone wanted Rock ‘n Roll.  Beamed
inland from a boat, named Radio Rock, in the middle of the North Sea
this group fo DJ’s fight 'The Man' and forever change the face of
British Rock ‘n Roll Radio. Urbane and unflappable station owner/ship’
s captain Quentin (Bill Nighy) oversees a colorful crew of rogue
disc jockeys that includes a rule-bending renegade American known
only as "The Count” (Philip Seymour Hoffman in naturally cool-dude
mode); ultra-hip, flamboyantly mod-clad radio royalty Gavin Cavanagh
(a perfectly smooth and slinky Rhys Ifans); amorous but
overweight Dave (an achingly funny Nick Frost), who is amazingly
successful at seducing the station’s prettiest female fans, despite
his girth and to the consternation of his shipmates.
Overall this movie was a blast to watch
and had a lot of funny elements.  It seems
that the “critics” out there gave this movie
a fairly scathing review however in todays
world of depressed economic times a little
life, love and adventure never hurt
anyone.  It is nice to watch a movie where
you don’t have to be able to calculate
quantum mechanics or split the atom to
understand the plot.

Obviously a labor of love, Curtis’ funny
valentine to the ’60s era’s free-spirited
champions of free will and rock ’n’ roll is as
full of heart as it is hilarity. It is a fitting
tribute to the unifying power of the music.
Definitely watch this one and Remember
….. Rock ‘n Roll Forever! A bad ass
soundtrack with the music of many of our
younger years!