2009 comedy – The Boat That Rocked – is a Richard Curtis classic. With a cast that reads like a who’s who of British Comedy (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Rhys Ifans) it is much loved by fans and critics alike.
The story is set in the mid-60s – a much more conservative time, when the British Broadcasting Corporation played a mere two hours of rock music a week on the airwaves. However, clearly, this was not what the people demanded – for more than 50% of the UK population tuned in each day to pirate radio stations in order to get their rock and roll fix.
The pirates succeeded in broadcasting their illegal tunes by planting themselves in boats offshore, and thus outside of the jurisdiction of the growing power of the UK government.
Enter Carl (played by the excellent Tom Sturridge) – a school dropout – sent by his long-suffering mother to find a purpose by spending some time with Quentin – his godfather.
However all may not go to plan here – for Quentin is the head of Rock Radio – a pirate radio outfit of misfit rock and roll DJs, stationed in the North Sea.
This group, led by Phillip Seymour Hoffman (playing larger than life character –‘the Count’) unfolds the wild tale that follows that shows that life as a pirate on the sea is pretty exciting.
Simon (played by Irish fans-favourite Chris O’Dowd) gets married on-board the boat to his fantasy girl, only to be ditched the very next day, Carl learns a thing or two about girls and uncovers some secrets about his family and Gavin (Welshman Rhys Ifans) returns from a whirlwind tour of the States, only to discover he has been usurped from his unofficial position as ‘Greatest DJ in the UK’.
All of this happens with the backdrop of the stuffy UK government and their efforts to battle the pirates and put a stop to their illegal broadcasts. As government PM Dormandy (played by the iconic Kenneth Branagh) seeks to pass new laws to ban the broadcasts and stop the pirates in their tracks – the pirates fight back with a vengeance!
Hilarity and comic capers ensue, with the pirates rallying together, along with the millions of rock music fans to block the law and beat the system and prove once and for all, that Rock and Roll will never die.