The Boat That Rocked The Boat That Rocked
Film Date :   1 April 2009
Genre :   Romance Comedy Melodrama   
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The Boat That Rocked

The Boat That Rocked

The Boat That Rocked is a British ensemble comedy film, released in the United Kingdom on 1 April 2009. After the film's commercial and critical failure in the UK [1] it was re-edited [2] and retitled Pirate Radio for release in the United States and Canada on 13 November 2009. Set in 1966, it tells a story about a fictitious pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship to the United Kingdom. The film was written and directed by Richard Curtis and made by Working Title Films for Universal Pictures.

Carl (Tom Sturridge) arrives on the pirate radio ship, Radio Rock, after being sent to stay with the ship's Captain, his godfather, Quentin (Bill Nighy), to hopefully set his life on a different track after being expelled from school. Here he meets Radio Rock's crew of ramshackle disc jockeys, led by The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a buoyant rock-loving American, along with the suave and bawdy Dave (Nick Frost) and the naive but good hearted Simon (Chris O'Dowd). Also filling the airwaves is self proclaimed New Zealand "nut," Angus (Rhys Darby), the mysterious Midnight Mark (Tom Wisdom) and the even more mysterious, reclusive and downright disillusioned late-night DJ Smooth Bob (Ralph Brown). Serving as the ship's crew are the shy lesbian cook Felicity (Katherine Parkinson) and radio assistants, Harold (Ike Hamilton) and the appropriately nicknamed Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke).

Dave wastes no time in introducing Carl to women, only for both of Carl's attempts to be foiled by Dave himself, including Carl's first crush, Quentin's niece, Marianne (Talulah Riley), although, by the end of the film, Carl and Marianne make up and get together. Simon also is unlucky in love, meeting and marrying the too-good-to-be-true Elenore (January Jones) only to find her affections are really placed with the returning "king of the airwaves", Gavin (Rhys Ifans). The Count objects to Gavin's antics with Elenore, leading to a clash of egos that ends in a truce after both suffer physical injuries jumping from the top of the ship's radio mast in a contest of courage.

Kevin, in an unusually insightful moment, points out to Carl that Radio Rock is clearly no place to be sent to clean up his act and suggests that the real reason Carl's mother sent him there is that his father, who he has never met, is among the crew, nominating Quentin as the most likely suspect. When his mother Charlotte (Emma Thompson) visits for Christmas, Carl asks her about Quentin, only for her to deny it. As she leaves the boat, Carl passes on a cryptic message from Smooth Bob ("Muddy Waters rocks"), which leads to the unexpected revelation that Bob, not Quentin, is Carl's father, something that throws both father and son.
Radio Rock's controversial on-air antics have ruffled the feathers of a government minister, Dormandy, (Kenneth Branagh), who instructs his subordinate Twatt (Jack Davenport) to find a way to take down pirate radio, despite its popularity among the pop hungry masses. 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. He proposes the creation of the Marine Offences Act, which passes through Parliament without any shown opposition.

With the Act due to come into force, the crew of Radio Rock choose to defy the act, for various different personal reasons, and continue to broadcast. Twatt leads a group of boats out into the North Sea to board the pirate ship and arrest the crew, only to find a fishing vessel anchored there instead. Quentin has given the order to fire up the ship's aging engines and move their position. Unfortunately, the strain proved too much for the decrepit boat: the eingines blow up and the ship begins to sink as the DJs broadcast their position. The crew assemble on the upper deck, Carl rescuing the oblivious Bob from his cabin, leading to an apparent reconciliation between the pair, while the Count vows to continue broadcasting as long as possible. Dormandy forbids Twatt from sending out rescue craft, however, many fans have also heard the broadcast and come to rescue the crew as the ship sinks below the waves, with the Count emerging from the water at the very last minute.

The film concludes with captions stating that, despite the end of "the golden age of pirate radio", the dream lives on, with 299 music radio stations across the UK playing rock and pop music 24 hours a day, and that, forty years on, rock and roll is still going strong, ending with a montage of successful music albums covering the entire forty year period.

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