The Boat That Rocked (some Who)

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Fri Mar 6 15:26:32 UTC 2009

>From The Daily Mail:

Jolly life on a medium wave

Talulah Riley is more than shipshape in The Boat That Rocked. 

The movie is a marvellous snapshot of the rebellious side of our country, when pirate radio ships ruled the waves and we kept transistors under our pillows so that we could listen to the disc jockeys spinning their records on the high seas. 

Talulah's just one component in the ensemble cast that director-writer Richard Curtis has gathered to play the motley crew in his latest film that really rocks, in the coolest sense. 

The Boat That Rocked, which opens on April 1, is set in 1966 on a fictitious radio rock boat and, as Curtis noted, it's about the greatest mismatch between supply and demand in our culture. 

In the Sixties, the Government saw the pirate radio ships as a danger to society in general, and the country's youth in particular. 

But the pirates were bringing rock to a public who were, at the time, being denied it by BBC radio. 

Bill Nighy plays Quentin, the snazzy entrepreneur who oversees his DJs  -  who include Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nick Frost, Rhys Ifans, Chris O'Dowd and Ralph Brown  -  while trying to outwit government spoilsports, among them a Mr Twatt, played by Jack Davenport, and his boss, the Cabinet minister, played with relish by Kenneth Branagh. Katherine Parkinson, Emma Thompson, Gemma Arterton and January Jones also appear in the film. 

We watch all the shenanigans through the eyes of Quentin's godson Carl, played by the engaging young actor Tom Sturridge, who looks like a cleaned-up version of Pete Doherty. 

Talulah, who was in Pride And Prejudice and St Trinian's, plays Marianne, Carl's object of desire  -  if only he could keep his sex-starved crew mates from lusting after her. 

The film marks only the second foray by Curtis as a director (his first being Love Actually) and he's a natural. But it's his astute use of rock music that makes the movie soar. 

Curtis initially selected ten classic songs to anchor his screenplay, but then spent weeks and weeks with his music supervisors, listening to other tunes to bolster the line-up. 'I think we had ten songs for every one we used,' he joked. 

All of the actors have been allowed to select songs for an iTunes line-up that will go up soon on the film's website. 

'I've loaded mine with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan,' Nighy, one of our national treasures, told me. I lost count of the number of great tracks used in the film  -  I think there must be over 60  -  but I know there are three by The Who: Won't Get Fooled Again, My Generation and I Can See For Miles (Curtis showed Roger Daltrey an early cut of the film to give him an idea of how the numbers have been used). 

Also in the mix are Cat Stevens with Matthew & Son, Eleanor by The Turtles, the fantastic Stay With Me Baby by Lorraine Ellison, I'm Gonna Make You Love Me by Diana Ross & The Supremes, and We Can Work It Out by The Beatles. It's like the soundtrack to my life. 

Curtis has picked 40 titles for the soundtrack album  -  although I suspect if the film's a hit he may have to release a second album to include the ones he left off. Now, get on board and rock on!

 -Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month! 


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