Song, sweaters, fishing, lots of different accents and that’s just the Cornish.


Directed by: Chris Foggin

Written by: Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft

Featuring: Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, Tuppence Middleton, David Hayman, Maggie Steed, Dave Johns, Noel Clarke, Sam Swainsbury

A group of Cornish fishermen who entertain locals and tourists alike with evening sea-shanties for charity are suddenly thrust into the limelight as a record company employee, Danny, decides that their traditional music and image could be enough for them to have a successful album. But with this ambition comes conflict with tradition and the lifestyles of the men and their families and for Danny too.

Fisherman’ Friend is apparently based on a true story of ‘sea shantying’ Cornish fishermen, I must admit I have never heard of them so from this point of view I was expecting anything from the story and knew nothing about it. How accurate is the film? I do not know.

It must be said that Fisherman’s Friend is predictable and safe from the minute the film opens. Despite the wiles of the edging, money-grubbing Londoners on display, you know that their bickering and abandoning of Danny is going to be about as nasty as the film gets. So it proves.

This in itself is no bad thing but to be honest Fisherman’s Friend is in a huge mountain of underdogs winning against all odds and despite themselves from the UK and across the pond. There is a definite tick-list of plot points throughout the film. Absentee dad who is replaced by our ‘hero’, love between unlikely characters and near-disaster and redemption. You have seen this before. The Full Monty comes to mind and myriad films before and in-between too.

All the cast are comfortable and confident in their roles with Danny Mays and Tuppence Middleton standing out in what could be considered thankless roles and James Purefoy does well with his grumpy curmudgeon.

There is nothing more you can really say about Fisherman’s Friend, Cornwall looks nice, the folk and lovely and stereo-typed and despite it all have each other’s backs with a good sense of humour. A bit like real life but also a bit not like real life.

Apart from a bit of fruity language this is perfect Sunday afternoon watching. If you watch films on a regular basis you know what is going to happen, you will laugh and if you are so inclined you might cry, and you will be safe. From this point of view this is Fisherman’s Friends strong point, it also Fisherman’s Friends weak point.

And yes, they did succumb to the Fisherman’s Friend obvious joke.

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