Saturday, 16 January 2010

Richard Curtis rocks again

Yes, I know it came out in April 2009, but I was waiting for someone to buy the DVD for us for Christmas. They didn't, but our daughter invited us to watch hers and I have to say it is superb. Of course, I'm referring to The Boat that Rocked or, for those in the US (where titles are patronisingly simplified), Pirate Radio. That doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it?

Curtis has done a marvellous job with this unusual choice of subject – hmm, perhaps unusual isn't the right word... I would say refreshingly different choice of subject. The screenplay seems (I say this because such matters are usually open to theoretical analysis) to follow the three-act principles (although his Four Weddings and a Funeral had five acts) and I was so engrossed in the plot that I missed the break into Act 2, but I did catch the Act 3 transition.

With brilliant characters, a lively plot, unusual (there's that word again) locations, twists and an amazing moment of catharsis... this feel-good film will be a favourite with so many people for decades to come. Yes, I spotted some anachronisms – but hey, it's a story, not a documentary, and those people who glue themselves to the screen with notepads at the ready are peculiarly sad and need to get a life.

The trick when studying screenwriting is how to enjoy screen entertainment whilst simultaneously breaking it up into its component parts. I suppose in some cases it just means watching stuff again and again. Education can be so cruel.

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