Fisherman’s Friends, from the sea to the music studio

28/10 · Por HBO · Reading 2 min.

Have yourself a ball with this film telling the story of a group of Cornwall sailors who were given a recording contract with Universal Records.

Fisherman’s Friends, a movie based on actual events and a great time with a group of remarkable sailors from Cornwall

It's always a joy to find a small, unpretentious film that moves you. It’s always a pleasant surprise to find a good, simple story filled with light that makes us smile. And that film is Fisherman's Friends (2019), an ensemble comedy filled with the music of sailors from the coastal region of Cornwall, England.

Directed by Chris Foggin, this film based on actual events tells the story of a group of male vocalists who perform sea shanties and end up finding fame after signing a contract with no less than the Universal music label.

These fishermen had known each other since childhood, living very close to one another in the same coastal community. In the late 1980s, they formed a singing group to entertain themselves and their friends at the local pub with songs known as sea shanties.

A shanty is a sailors’ song traditionally sung while working on the sea. The idea is that, joined together in a single voice, they would work in a coordinated fashion, setting a pace that would lend urgency to their efforts. Shanties also helped keep the sailors happy, and being united in song fostered unity, reducing arguments and even mutinies.

These are the types of songs featured in Fisherman's Friends. The group of men who perform them are “discovered,” we might say, and that is what the movie is about: the four singers—Jim, Jago, Leadville and Rowan—but especially the man who discovers them, Danny (Daniel Mays), a restless, cynical London music executive who comes to the seaside town for a weekend. In an attempt to win a bet, he will seek to use his devilishly charming wiles to seduce the fishermen with thoughts of fame and fortune.

But while Danny, with his many vices, seeks to change the fishermen, life reveals to him that it is in fact he who needs to question and change his conceptions of loyalty, friendship and love. In the end, this is a romantic comedy, and our Danny will find love with the daughter of Jim, one of the members of the group. She is Alwyn, played by Tuppence Middleton, a breakout British actor already seen in such films as The Imitation Game (2014), The Current War (2017) and the series Sense8 (2015–2018). Daniel Mays has been notable in titles like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), My Dinner with Hervé (2018) and 1917 (2019).

In the roles of the fishermen we have James Purefoy (The Following) as Jim, David Hayman (Blinded by Light) as Jago, Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake) as Leadville and Sam Swainsbury as Rowan.

Have yourself a ball with Fisherman's Friends, coming in November to HBO Mundi and HBO GO.

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