Okay, so I need to start by saying I’m about to discuss a film, not the famous cold cure lozenges, made up of liquorice, menthol and eucalyptus oil, and connected with a selection of risque jokes and puns.
The film, in case you’ve missed the publicity, was released in March. I missed it then, but there’s a lovely independent cinema just down the road, who cater for slow-off-the-mark viewers like me, and last week they put on two more showings. So mum and I finally caught up.
I hadn’t read any reviews, but I’d seen a trailer. It promised humour, sea, romance, broken promises and an underdog. The setting was Cornwall. I love Cornwall; listening to people harmonising, and rags to riches story-lines. Besides, there were some good actors in it.
I didn’t know anything about the Port Isaac singers. Every six months or so I re-tune my car radio and catch up on what’s happening with music. The Cornish choir must have happened while I was in a drama and current affairs mode. I’m catching up fast now, though, thanks to You Tube.
‘What I don’t understand,‘ says Jim, the leader of the group, ‘is why anyone would buy a record sung by ten hairy-arsed fishermen.’ Long before the end of the film, we’ve worked it out, and so have they.
This isn’t a tough film. There’s no blood, or car chases. It has highs, lows, lulls and squalls, but the plot isn’t twisty or challenging.
There were about forty of us in the audience. Most of us lingered to watch the end credits, and enjoy the singing, rather than rush for the exit. I think we were all grinning as we left the building.
I don’t want to call it a ‘warm’ film, because that suggests flimsy, but I’m finding it tricky to sum it up with another word. There were clear themes, particularly about community and values. But I think also, although none of us burst into song, by the end, I felt that I too had been part of something.
There is a scene, set in a pub in London, where the ‘ten hairy-arsed fishermen‘ demonstrate what a sea-shanty is. I’ve been humming Drunken Sailor ever since.