Set in Port Isaac in Cornwell, England. Fisherman’s Friends tells the true story of how a Record Label Executive played by Daniel Mays attempted to turn a group of ten fishermen in a remote town that sing sea shanties into the next big thing in the music industry.
Danny (Mays) is a shallow Record Executive from London but while on a stag weekend in a remote Cornish village, Danny and his workmates witness a public performance of the Fisherman’s Friends who are a group that sing sea shanties to pass the time and to entertain the locals. During their performance Danny’s boss pranks him into attempting to sign the group to a major record deal. Nine out of the ten fisherman are happy to be offered the deal even though they do not take the offer very seriously, but one fisherman Jim (James Purefoy) is sceptical of Danny’s offer as he believes that his intentions aren’t genuine. When Danny gives Jim his word that he is serious, only then is Jim happy to have a shot at fame.
Danny soon finds out that he may have bitten off more than he can chew when he realises that managing a group of mostly elderly men that sing sea shanties is going to be more difficult then he thought, he also starts to fall in love with Jim’s daughter Alwyn (Tuppence Middleton) which causes him to re-evaluate his entire life.
As a massive music nerd and someone that is interested in the process of how music is made, I have to say that I particularly enjoyed the scenes that showed the group recording their songs which was done by showing all ten members of the band in front of their microphones and with Danny behind the mixing desk attempting to get the right sound, which I thought was very well done. I also really liked how the camera would rock back and forth during the scenes that took place on a boat. The cinematography almost makes you feel like you are on the boat together with the characters.
I felt that Daniel Mays did a great job as character, Danny. At the start of the film the character was so shallow and heartless but as the film progresses you see more into the depth of Danny’s character. Danny is passionate about what he is does, which is shown by how genuinely happy he is to be working on the project, his passion, obvious, while he is trying to get the band signed. As Danny learns the history of the town while being constantly told yarns by the locals, I began to like Mays’ character more and more. I would also like to acknowledge Tuppence Middleton as Alwyn. I loved her character because she wasn’t your typical female love interest. Not only was Middleton able to contribute her own opinions and ideas into the character, but Alwyn is a fellow music nerd, which I found relatable.
Fisherman’s Friends is a British comedy that is full of laughs and may even make you shed a few tears. Teaches that it is never too late make some changes and to re-evaluate your life. To prioritise what is most important and that you are never too old to do something different. Who knows? Perhaps your hobby may lead you onto something more.
Fisherman’s Friends is showing in cinemas across Australia now.