Pirate Radio: DVD Beats Feature

I just got around to watching my Netflix-delivered DVD of Pirate Radio. If you saw it in the theater, you missed out on some of the best parts.
The movie, at best (in the feature-cut), is a fast-paced cluster of vignettes loosely tied around a family/love story, lavish with music from the offshore pirate era and an ending that even teared me up a bit. The ensemble works brilliantly. The fact the movie revolves around the concept of pirate radio, and the ship itself, acted more as a set-piece than a central plot device. Which is why many reviews praised it, mostly, for its music.
The DVD, however, contains nearly an hour of deleted scenes, most of them introduced and explained by Pirate Radio‘s director, Richard Curtis. He’s surprisingly frank about the pain he experienced in the editing process, and wonders aloud more than once whether the version with the deleted scenes and less music might have been a better film; the entirety of the compilation Curtis describes as “the remains of my broken heart.”
I’m not about to doubt him. The deleted scenes add amazing depth to several characters, and actually fill in some loose ends in the feature-plot.
Three of the best are a Philip Seymour Hoffman-led prank/raid on a competing station, Radio Sunshine; a game among the on-air staff where they must slip a chosen word into every broadcast (which gets harder every day of the week, kind of like the New York Times crossword puzzle); and an extension of a scene featuring the aftermath of “Simple Simon” Swafford’s 17-hour marriage, in which a non-DJ member of Radio Rock’s crew gets an impromptu taste of what it’s like behind the mic, and Swafford later pours out his pain.
In those few minutes that never made it into the cinema, the rookie and the veteran are captured by the emotion of broadcasting; for anyone who’s ever used radio as a cathartic medium, that scene is pretty f*cking powerful.
So, even if you’ve already seen the feature-cut of Pirate Radio, definitely peep the DVD, because the extras offer significant substance to the film as a work of art.