Pirate Radio wasn’t a bad movie. It was interesting and had some very likeable and unlikeable characters and other characters that had likeable and despicable sides to them. But what I noticed was the way the movie depicted two very unhealthy extremes. It showcased the dehumanizing lifestyles of the excessively strict and the excessively libertine.
Alistair Dormandy, an English bureaucrat, represents the legalistic way of life, and at one point even quips, with visible pleasure, “If you don’t like something, you simply pass a new law making it illegal” (the basic logic of liberal progressives in the United States today).
Life on the boat, on the other hand is as free from moral laws as Mr. Dormandy’s life is free from freedom. But contrary to creating a wonderland, the lack of any moral lodestar here gets people deeply hurt–and confused.
Whatever else the movie may have communicated, I liked how it allowed us to see how flawed and how destructive these two extremes of restraint and autonomy can be. Of course, most people do live between them, society itself usually providing the guidelines of what is considered normal behavior. But even here there is an absence of true guidance. It turns out that it is only in Christ and the law and liberty that he brings can we find a new and balanced way to be human, since “he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord” and yet “likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ” (1 Cor. 7:22).