Fisherman’s Friends : One and All

Fisherman’s Friends : One and All

A feel good film with a happy ending

The first full day after a wonderful holiday back at the desk can bring its challengers and opportunities! Sometimes it can be easier to shift paper – accumulated emails seem to move on rather more quickly and the delete button can certainly help cheer the day along! But those things that were left on the desk hoping that holiday refreshment might bring a different perspective remain. There is much to be grateful for but also a good deal to do in these post pandemic times and all of this within the context of a fragile and unpredictable world.

So quick look at the listings in the Salisbury Odeon gave a perfect excuse to finish at five and Book a seat in the glorious screen one of a mediaeval cinema (well the building is at least) to see a new film on its release day. Based on a true story this is a wonderfully feel-good film telling the story of a sea shanty group who hit the big time after an executive from the record industry discover them singing in the local pub.

To be honest if I had read the reviews before booking a seat I may well not have bothered at all – however I’m glad I did – it is slow and steady but it has much to commend it ! Here is the official trailer

I have never been to Cornwall and I have to say I have much desire to visit that part of the world – perhaps the time will come sometime – but what this film does do I think in it’s skilful cinematography is to paint a picture of this seaside town and its life with its dependency on fishing and second home owners and tourists. The music is good. There are some brilliant comedy moments captured in one liners. There is grit and realism and thoughtfulness. There is love. There is anger. There is grief and without letting any cats out of the bag there is a wonderfully happy ending – that’s what some films are for and what we need from them!

There is an authenticity to this – a fairly ordinary bunch of mates who just like getting together and singing for pleasure set alongside the world of manufactured music controlled by finance and fashion. The culture clash between Cornwall and the city of London makes for some of the more amusing exchanges. The pop industry doesn’t entirely come off too well!

The cast is very likable with James Purefoy taking a central role as the grieving, complicated, angry lead singer. He has hit the bottle after the death of his dad who was the co-founder of the group. He gladly finds love with an Irish Rocker, who has escaped to Cornwall as she recovers from her anger and alcohol dependency. This relationship gives the film a deeper and richer texture.

The stand out point for me, which interestingly I haven’t seen picked up in any of the early reviews of this film is the way in which grief and bereavement handled especially in relation to Jim and his father. There is a tangible sense of loss of the Fishermans father who appears from time to time offering advice, challenge and consolation. This part of the storyline is a good deal more nuanced and emotionally mature than some may think. We all know individuals who are living with this tangible sense of loss. Grief and loss brings struggle as we find some kind of meaning. Loss sends people into all kinds of escapist attempts to understand the terror and heartache that lost brings.

It is summed up when Jim says –’ it’s OK not to be okay’.

So as you can see this is a good way to spend a Friday evening – and a thumbs up – the film as well made and nice looking especially those glorious sunsets. Take a chance on it – I hope you won’t be disappointed!

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