Film: Fisherman’s Friends

Film: Fisherman’s Friends

The story starts with a Laanduun-based, cynical music industry exec (Danny Mays) who is in Port Issac, a little fishing village in Cornwall with his boss (Noel Clark) and two colleagues on a stag weekend. I’m unclear why the boss is American and why the biggest prank is played on the Mays character rather than the groom.

The prank is to sign the group of fishermen who sing to bring the community together and I guess, to lighten the responsibilities of their job. He takes on the challenge but begins to realise how great they sound and decides to bring them to the world’s attention long after the joke is over.

I’m guessing that is the fictional bit. From here, once we work out where to get a mobile signal and learn to avoid parking the car where the tide comes in, it’s the stories of the fisherman and their families which forms the soul of this film.

The Fisherman’s Friends is designed for us to care little for the London folk with their inappropriate jokes and arrogance and we side with the residents of course. There may be one or two of these clichés. However, the film weaves in and out of their stories through the songs and pub chat as it goes back and forth between the glass-towers of London and shanties of the fishermen. Fisherman’s Friends – the group of singers and the film – is about community, family and loyalty. It evokes thoughts of a lost world and yet here is it is in the 21st century, people risking their lives to both earn a living fishing and to fish out idiot city stags from choppy waters.

I love that this is based on a true story which I vaguely remember being featured on a Jo Whiley show. I must have blinked and missed that bit in this film though although she is credited.

It’s a must-see heart-warmer in the style of others based on true story films like PRIDE and even, more recently, Fighting with my Family.

7½/10

 

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