It’s great to witness the return of Steve Coogan as the uniquely eccentric radio host Alan Partridge in the 2013 film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. Delve into the article to find the review of a 2013 British comedy film.
Before this, the character was last seen in the 1997 BBC sitcom I’m Alan Partridge, leaving fans uncertain if they would ever reencounter him.
In 2004, Coogan humorously mentioned the character being cryogenically preserved alongside Walt Disney, suggesting that he would revive him when the time was right.
After being “defrosted,” I’m pleased to report that he’s as humorous as ever.
Review: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Alan Partridge’s character has a rich and intricate history, having previously hosted a national BBC television show before a disagreement led to his departure.
Following this, he took on a DJ role at a small radio station in Norwich.
The film’s plot unfolds as a significant media corporation buys the station with plans to target a younger audience.
When Partridge learns that either he or fellow DJ Pat Farrell may be fired, he makes a derogatory comment about Pat during a boardroom meeting, epitomizing his typical behavior.
This action, familiar to those aware of Partridge’s past, sets the stage for his forthcoming humiliation and downfall.
Trouble begins swiftly as Farrell, already distressed due to his wife’s passing, experiences a breakdown upon losing his job and takes the station employees hostage.
Surprisingly, he trusts Partridge, who becomes a mediator between the police and the hostage-taker.
Partridge revels in the media attention, even branding himself as “the face of the siege,” much to the station manager’s delight.
Phillip French of The Observer fittingly described the film as a comedic blend of Ace in the Hole (1951) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975).
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Comedies nowadays are often characterized by being loud and offensive, as seen in the lineup of comedy films in 2013.
They rely on shock value conveyed through rudeness, obscenity, and sometimes violence. In contrast, the film “Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa” stands out for its natural and unassuming comedy.
It presents a subdued approach to humor despite the premise of a siege and is incredibly funny.
The film’s most indecent moments involve Partridge losing his pants while climbing into a window and later hiding inside a septic tank that breaks loose and carries him into a curb.
However, even in these situations, the film maintains its mastery of character-driven comedy.
Partridge’s response to freeing himself from the septic tank showcases his nonchalant and quirky nature, adding to the film’s comedic charm.
Steve Coogan introduced the Partridge character in 1991 and has had ample time to perfect this absurd yet beloved character.
Over his 22-year existence, Partridge has been portrayed as shallow, insecure, insensitive, self-absorbed, dimwitted, and socially inept.
His constant embarrassment in social situations, as seen when he recounts a personal story about a panic attack during a car wash, adds to his endearing and relatable nature.
Despite his flaws, Partridge is a lovable, goofy loser, distinct from other fictional broadcasters like Ron Burgundy, displaying vulnerability and endearing qualities.
During the hostage crisis, Farrell and Partridge venture into broadcasting a radio show, reveling that the situation draws a large audience, which is the primary concern for broadcasters fixated on ratings.
Their lack of concern for the heavily armed SWAT team surrounding the building is evident.
However, Farrell’s unpredictable and menacing behavior surfaces when he discovers that the station manager deleted his jingles.
He becomes agitated and gathers the frightened hostages to record a new jingle.
The absurdity of the hostages’ lives depending on the group producing a satisfactory jingle encapsulates the film’s continuous flow of absurdity from start to finish.
Whether Partridge will navigate his predicament by the end and undergo personal growth is uncertain. However, it’s unlikely to happen.
Certainly, Coogan will likely preserve Partridge in cryogenic storage again. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the character is thawed out for another escapade.
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