Fisherman’s Friends (2020)

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A man not only finds a major discovery, but he also finds himself in this music semi-biopic from director Chris Foggin.

A group of music executives, head towards Cornwall and end up in the small port village of Port Isaac. An attempt to head to Wales via kayak walking fails miserably as they are rescued by the local fishermen. Later that day, the group makes a shocking discovery. The fisherman sing sea shanties for the locals, attracting the attention of the four. Music executive Troy decides to tell Danny, the one who can sign bands, to get the fishermen a music deal. Danny reluctantly agrees.

Forced to stay in Port Isaac, Danny finds a B&B run by one of the fishermen, Jim, and his daughter Alwyn, and granddaughter. Danny is determined to get the band signed and does so by getting to know the fishermen. He learns the youngest member of the group, Rowan, is on the brink of losing the local pub to foreclosure. Danny offers to help him get a new buyer. Along the way to getting them a deal, Danny not only finds himself bonding with the group, but even starts an unexpected romance with Alwyn. However, when a series of events trigger a possibility that puts the deal and Danny’s romance in jeopardy, Danny finds himself doing something unimaginable to even himself to help the town.

Music biopics is becoming quite a big deal these days. With Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman leading the way, there have been some more global biopics that should be checked out (Leto anyone?) and this British film is more than a biopic. Yes, it tells the real-life story of the titular Fisherman’s Friends, a group of fishermen and friends who sing sea shanties and how they would get signed to a major music label. That part is true. However, the question is how did they get signed? Well, that’s where we come up with the second more fictional tale of the music executive who gets them signed.

Daniel Mays is wonderful in the role of Danny, the music executive hired to get the Fisherman’s Friends a music deal. He is truly a fish out of water as he is used to the high lifestyle of London and finds himself stuck in the small Port Isaac in Cornwall. What makes the film greater is that as mentioned it’s more than a biopic, but it’s about the executive finding himself in the process. In some ways, it is not his fault as at first, he realizes he was being pranked by his boss but an attempt to help one of the fishermen out of a crisis that threatens the town, he inexplicably makes things a bit worse for the town.

James Purefoy is great as Jim, one of the leaders of the group, and one of the most focused members of the group, along with David Hayman’s Jago and Sam Swainsbury’s Rowan. Jim is the guy who helps brings the group together and leads them in the singing of the sea shanties, as seen in the film’s opening. We do get to see some serious moments in the film, from a heartbreaking death of a member to a near fatal moment for one member on Coast Guard duty. But in essence, this is about a group of fishermen who not only thrive on singing, but are the best of friends in the midst of everything that stands before them.

Fisherman’s Friends is a feel-good movie that despite some serious heartbreaking moments, is more than a movie about the titular music group, but the music exec who finds himself while attempting to sign the group. With the rage of music biopics, this is one to look out, even if part of the film is fictional.

WFG RATING: B+

Samuel Goldwyn Films presents a Fred Films and Powder Keg Productions film. Director: Chris Foggin. Producers: James Spring, Meg Leonard, and Nick Moorcroft. Writers: Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard, and Piers Ashworth. Cinematography: Simon Tindall. Editing: Johnny Daukes.

Cast: Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, David Hayman, Tuppence Middleton, Sam Swainsbury, Noah Clarke, Christian Brassington, Vahid Gold, Maggie Steed, Meadow Nobrega, Dave Johns.

 

 

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