An upbeat end to 2022 with a musical film and live folk music from John and Di Cullen. The large audience for Fisherman’s Friends: One and All went home happy and in a festive mood.
Despite our appreciation for the stunning Port Isaac scenery - a great advertisement for holidays in Cornwall - the film did have some flaws. It was a superficial look at Cornish culture, perhaps the biggest takeaway was that they preferred jam first and cream second on their scones. Some of us wanted a wider look at the heritage of the sea shanties and the fishermen’s history.
We did feel that the key character – Jim, played by James Purefoy – was not a likable character and his change from a having a severe drinking problem to being sober happened too fast.
There was a predictable element to the film. Jim was changed by the love of a good woman (well played by Imelda May). The accident in the tin mine, where everyone pulled together to help, felt very tacked on and was reminiscent of the Poldark mine disaster. A member of the discussion group said the film reminded her of Victorian sensational novels, with a succession of exciting events designed to grip the reader.
We had several alternative suggestions for the film. We wished the female Irish folk singer could have become part of the group – that would really have shown they cared about diversity. We would have loved to have seen real-life footage of the men singing on the pyramid stage in Glastonbury.
However, despite the clunkiness of several scenes, like the unnecessary ‘political correctness’ workshop, and Jim’s late father appearing throughout and mysteriously shown in a long shot, it left us cheerful. Two films with excellent attendance. Things are looking up.
We finished the discussion by singing “What Shall We Do with The Drunken Sailor?”