The Boat that Rocked or Pirate Radio as it was renamed into in the United States is a whimsical, musical movie about an illegal radio station on board a ship in the North Sea during the 1960s. This is the period when the British government banned rock and roll music and the only way to listen to it is through pirate radios.
The first thing you’ll notice about The Boat that Rocked is its superb soundtrack. It featured music from The Kinks, Smokey Robinson, The Who, The Hollies, Skeeter Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, The Supremes, Cat Stevens, just to name a few. I might not be born in the 60s but I enjoy music from that era. The right songs were used to enhance the different scenes of the movie.
It featured a motley crew of characters including Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Count, Rhys Ifans as Gavin, Nick Frost as Doctor Dave, Tom Sturridge as Young Carl and Bill Nighy as Quentin the boss man of the ship. The acting was weak but you wouldn’t watch The Boat that Rocked for it; neither for its story nor historical accuracy. It’s all about the music and nothing else.
The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman): To all our listeners, this is what I have to say – God bless you all. And as for you bastards in charge, don’t dream it’s over. Years will come, years will go, and politicians will do fuck all to make the world a better place. But all over the world, young men and young women will always dream dreams and put those dreams into song. Nothing important dies tonight, just a few ugly guys on a crappy ship. The only sadness tonight is that, in future years, there’ll be so many fantastic songs that it will not be our privilege to play. But, believe you me, they will still be written, they will still be sung and they will be the wonder of the world.
I never knew about pirate radios and this gave me an idea of how they operated. The Boat that Rocked might not be accurate but it did manage to show a glimpse of what it’s like to be in that era. We’re lucky that radios today can play whatever they want to play. Well radios nowadays are insignificant because of the advent of the internet and the iPod.
I recommend watching The Boat that Rocked with the volume level on maximum. That’s the only way you can really enjoy it. Just treat it as a long music video set in the 1960s. Fans of 60s rock and roll will definitely enjoy this one.