Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Alan Partridge in the studio

Aha, that’s better. I’d been beginning to wonder whether exposure to too many high-minded slow-moving arthouse confections had eroded my sense of humour for good (the much hyped The World’s End raised barely a wry smile a few weeks ago) but after seeing Steven Coogan’s latest outing for his enduringly hapless Norfolk DJ my confidence is restored that it’s not me, it’s them. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is a hoot from croissant to nightcap. The notion of Partridge on the big screen may seem a bit questionable at first given the character’s status as a Z-list celebrity who can’t even get on the telly these days but this works a treat, possibly because the film’s creators largely ignore the siren temptation to open it up and waste their budget on distracting and expensive shooting in exotic locations. Instead they stick to what works best by dropping Alan into a delicate situation in a definitely parochial setting (a presenter at a local radio station takes hostages after he’s sacked by the new management) and letting him wreak havoc with his weirdly perceptive tactlessness and fragile over-confidence. In terms of plot everything’s kept as simple as possible but in its sheer density of killer lines, awkward stand-offs and sheer physical hilarity this is as packed as any comedy film I can remember – there’s stuff coming at you continuously, with virtually no time at all wasted on laboriously setting any situation up. It pretty much demands to be seen again and I’m sure there’ll be details popping out you hadn’t noticed before even at the tenth viewing. Apart from anything else it’s worth watching for the skill with which Coogan and his team manage to give Partridge a distinctly heroic edge, despite him remaining in most scenes as self-centred a buffoon as he ever was. You find yourself positively rooting for this vain and deluded man…which is not to say you feel guilty about laughing like a drain when he loses his trousers or finds himself intimately involved with the waste disposal system on a recreational vehicle. It’s also nice to see the return of his under-appreciated and repressed personal assistant Lynn and the cheerfully indecipherable Geordie handyman Michael. A brilliant continuation of the Partridge legend, and barely a catchphrase in earshot.


2 responses to “Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

  1. Pingback: A Field In England: historical field trip | the tale of bengwy

  2. Pingback: Philomena: twisted sisters | the tale of bengwy

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