Thursday, 10 July 2014

Alpha Papa

Like a lot of popular culture I was late being introduced to Alan Partridge. I found that after a few too many references that I just didn't get I bought my husband the original series on box set. He enjoyed revisiting them and I had a giggle watching them for the first time. It was not the funniest thing I had ever seen and it did not come close to Father Ted or Spaced. It was however clever, enjoyable and not too taxing.

When they announced the film I had some reservations, I was unsure if they could string out a long enough plot and if they could maintain and stay true to the characters. I was worried that it would all come down to Steve Coogan's ability to "BE" Alan Partridge and everybody else would get over shadowed. I think there is always a risk taking a small production and making it a film which you are trying to sell an idea to the world and not just the BBC.

I should not have worried at all. It was better than the series but it stayed very true to itself. Along with some very funny slapstick there was a good plot. It was filmed in a way that felt very old fashioned and "British". The cast were incredibly strong and funny and supported Coogan perfectly. The plot is based around a hostage situation at the radio station where he works. This has come about after the station is bought by a new company. I think one of the main strengths that comes from Alan Partridge as a character is that although he is over the top you recognise him. You cringe because you have met people like that and you can even identify traits in yourself. Or at least I can - Alan Partridge is what happens when you speak before you think. The scenario itself is also over the top but the responses of the characters are normal and awkward.

This is a comedy, and a silly comedy at that, but it is grounded in a decent plot with a strong cast. It is more than just slapstick and although Partridge grates on you as a character you can't help but like him a little. There is an element of 'feel good' about it without too much saccharine sweetness.

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