Let’s face it… Rock music is nearly dead. We can be idealists, ignore the facts all we want, and think that as long as record players are still around and some people can name more than one Dylan track we’re still looking good, but we’re really not, are we? People don’t seem to have the same passion as they used to. New music is easier. “Pirate Radio” is about a time when listening to music still made you a badass and you actually had to think about what you were hearing. Devil’s music or not… It changed everything.
Basically, this is a movie of unparalleled passion. The actors know what they’re doing, who they’re playing, and it’s not difficult to imagine that in their spare time they sit quietly in a dark room with their headphones into a record player listening to “American Beauty” by the Dead. It tells the story of a boat out in the Atlantic broadcasting rock music to England at a time when the radios only played… Oh, roughly a half hour of rock and pop music daily (so the movie tells us). But of course, broadcasting “the Devil’s music” when the government and radio stations clearly aren’t having it causes some problems, and thus you have Kenneth Branagh, doing a great job of making us hate him… And hate him we do.
Familiar faces are everywhere. Nick Frost and Bill Nighy (both from Shaun of the Dead), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans from Little Nicky… They’re the ones that bring the movie together. Without them, it wouldn’t have been nearly the same. They come across as passionate, committed, everything you’d want from an actor in a movie about how badass rock â€˜n’ roll is.
So on the whole… Do you go see it? You’re damn right you do. It’s easy to be reminded of the power of music when you have Philip Seymour Hoffman playing “My Generation” loud as hell over the airwaves after the government has just made it illegal for him to do so. It made me want to… Smash stuff, I suppose. The old fashioned way. Because I’m young, pissed off, and I’ve got nothing better to do. Here’s to not getting fooled again.