11/13/09

Pirate Radio


It's easy to see how this movie would slip by a mainstream audience unnoticed. The story is clunky and disorganized. It's almost like they took what was intended to be a TV series and chopped it down into several five-minute episodes. They devote a little time to a little story here and a little story there. But the spirit of Rock is captured in this movie. You don't have to understand it, you have to feel it, you have to move with it and groove to it. It's not something you dissect, it's something you let wash over you like the waters of the North Sea. Don't try to find a main character. There is none. Don't try to find a cohesive storyline. If there is one, the movie doesn't focus on it. Don't expect a climactic showdown between Radio Rock and the British government. It just doesn't happen. Approach this movie the same way you approach your favorite Led Zepplin or Beatles or The Who album: put it on, and rock out. Don't try to make sense of it. It doesn't make sense. It just rocks.

There's not much more to it than that. Pirate Radio is filled with so many mini storylines that it would be daft of me spell them all out here. But the main thrust of the movie is that no matter how much some people hate it, Rock and Roll brings people together as a common family. A family it's impossible to break apart no matter how much damage is done between its members. I'm not going to say that this is a great movie by any means. It's going to alienate lovers of fine cinema, it's going to alienate those who don't "get" the Rock 'n Roll culture, and it's going to alienate a lot of Americans. But for those who get it, or for those who don't really care to get it, it's a fun time had by all. Maybe it's something you should rent on DVD, but I certainly wouldn't regret the ticket price.