Pirate Radio is a perfect example of why I don’t take critics’ comments at face value. The three reviews I read this morning were lukewarm with a small degree of trashing, but when I looked at the trailer, I knew it would be fun. Sure, the movie has its flaws–male humor; some sloppiness with chronological accuracy–but like most movies that celebrate rock ‘n’ roll, the music was great, and the whole thing gave me the warm fuzzies. Philip Seymour Hoffman is fantastic, and so is the ensemble acting.
I know I risk branding myself as superficial, but for the past several years I’ve developed a preference for comedies over drama. I’ve sworn off slavery and holocaust movies completely. I almost went to see A Serious Man today, and I’m so glad I did not. Who needs angst and depression when real life has so much of it already?
But Pirate Radio literally rocks. So what if they used the phrase “out of the box” and called young girls “women” — linguistic quirks unheard of in 1966. They even played a few songs that weren’t out until ’69. These errors are more than made up for by the hippie, peace-and-love atmosphere and a devotion to music that borders on religious worship. Actually, the biggest error is one of omission: there’s no pot smoking or other drug use in the film. I imagine this was about the rating; it’s a serious lack given the movie’s time and context.
Beautiful visuals of records floating around, sometimes literally; not CDs of course, but gorgeous LP album covers in all their antique glory. Pirate Radio: 4 stars.
Rock n’ Roll Lives!