Indie films can be really good or really boring. This one is a mix of the two though I think mostly it hits the high notes of good.
Fisherman’s Friends (2019) Film Review
Visiting a tiny Cornish island while part of a bachelor party isn’t the picture of fun for big city executives. Still, the group has fun, most of the time at the expense of others. Their current prank is to dare their mate Danny (Daniel Mays) to sign an amateur group of fisherman who sing shanties. They up the prank by leaving Danny behind and having to fend for a way to get home. Starting out, Danny just tries to win the bet, but the more he learns of these people and the meaning behind why they sing, the more curious he becomes. Only trouble is he must convince the kind of unofficial leader Jim (James Purefoy) of the group to sing a record deal.
Along the way, Danny finds himself more and more curious by Jim’s single mother daughter, Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton). Something that may net him more complications.
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It’s been a while now since I watched this, but despite never writing something up for it, I do have fond memories of the film. Its flaw is that sometimes the film moves a tad slow and yet I always go into these contemporary British films anticipating a slow pace. There’s also a really bittersweet element before the end that I didn’t anticipate. Still, all in all, the film has an uplifting persona.
Likely a big aspect of this is because of the “inspired by” a true story plot. This is based on an actual group of men who came together to sing for their village and out of joy, only by happenstance, they become a success. There’s lots of good qualities in the film and the cast is pretty dang good too. It’s neat to see James Purefoy in something all these years later (following the 90s adaptation of Mansfield Park from Miramax). Plus, Tuppence Middleton is always a bit of a firecracker no matter her role.
There’s mostly good vibes that will leave you enjoying this film. If you like something like Military Wives, I think this title will also suit. It’s got that heartwarming quality with strong family ties and ever the smallest hint of romance.
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You can find Fisherman’s Friends digitally on Amazon Video
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Content: There’s implications of an unmarried couple sleeping together. There’s some crude humor and profanity as well; many of the “shanty” songs contain suggestive or crude lyrics. There’s a death and lots of social drinking and drunkenness. The film is PG-13.
Photos: Samuel Goldwyn Films