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Fisherman's Friends Movie Review

The Life Melodic

Director Chris Foggin ("Kids in Love") had a fine line to walk in bringing the "Fisherman's Friends" script to screen. The story, about the discovery of a Cornish musical group, is so formulaic that you can picture index cards from a long-forgotten screenwriting class being used to guide the script writers on which beat should come next in a stock standard film. The film's sense of lazily drifting toward the inevitable is held off by the acting, which is filled with genuine warmth and charm, and the feeling that everybody involved in the production was having fun.
"Fisherman's Friends" tells the real-life story - with a few noticeable embellishments - of the band of the same name made up of fishermen and coastguard members who sing sea shanties. Danny (Daniel Mays, Good Omens) is a London music exec who travels to Port Isaac in Cornwall for a stag do (that's a bachelor party, for our American readers - ed.). After seeing the Fisherman's Friends perform, Danny's friends prank him by telling him he needs to sign the group, and then drive off while he makes the attempt.

Danny doesn't catch the joke, and after initially being rebuffed by the group's leader, Jim (James Purefoy, "Churchill") he finally gets them to agree. During his time trying to sign the group, Danny begins to appreciate the quiet life of Cornwall, the group and its collection of personalities, and to grow fond of Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton, Sense8), the proprietress of the B&B he is staying at. For the duration of the film, the questions are whether Danny will be able to convince anyone back in London that the world is ready for an acapella group of singing fishermen, and if the townspeople, especially Alwyn, will grow to like him as he has them. Spoiler alert: Fisherman's Friends were signed to Universal in 2010, so on the first question I like the odds.

Daniel Mays is very likeable as Danny, who's a confident man in his own world, but shaken when he discovers that what works in London doesn't necessarily succeed everywhere. Most of the time the Cornwall locals enjoy having him around  for a laugh, but he keeps finding himself out of step with Jim. For his part, Purefoy is pure curmudgeon as Jim. Some of his lines get lost in the guttural tone he uses, but he is more than believable as a quiet man who has more in common with the barnacles on the bottom of his boat than the vacationers from the other side of the River Tamar. As Alwyn, Middleton has good chemistry with Mays's Danny, but you can't help wondering why she hasn't left town before now, aside from the need to provide a romantic subplot in the film. She is strong and capable but underused in the world of the film, and by the film itself; otherwise she could have provided some of the depth that is missing from the story.

In the end, director Foggin mostly accomplishes what he sets out to do. In reality, the signing of the band was a straightforward affair, so a few superficial obstacles were added to draw things out and bring a light touch of tension. The story told in "Fisherman's Friends" is threadbare, but the cast's chemistry, the music, and the overall warmth add the right amount of sugar to help the film go down.

"Fisherman's Friends" will be available via On Demand and and digital July 24.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Fisherman's Friends Movie Review Fisherman's Friends Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, July 26, 2020 Rating: 5


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