Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
The perfect transition of a much loved character
I’m a big partridge fan and having watched the man progress from the likes of The Day Today and through the TV series I’m Alan Partridge, I was very excited when even the small rumours of a film began. The choice of Director Declan Lowney seems a very natural fit from his background in British TV and working on several projects with Steve Coogan.
One of the concerns I and fellow fans had about a film version would be where the plot would take us. Looking at other TV to Film transitions it tends to be a very over ambitious story that doesn’t really stay true to the character of the TV show (The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse) In Alpha Papa we meet Alan at North Norfolk digital however the station is being overtaken by a large fitness company called Shape. With his job on the line Alan sets up his fellow broadcaster Pat Farrell for the sack. Seeking revenge Pat goes berserk taking several members of the staff hostage. Only one man can help save the day and that just happens to be Alan Partridge.
I for one loved the relative simplicity of the plot, leaving Partridge in his home town of Norwich facing another eccentric character in Pat. As mentioned it could of so easily taken another route in the hope of making it ‘epic’ which in terms of Partridge would of been terrible. This is made all the more satisfying by the continuity of returning characters including, PA Lynn (Felicity Montagu), Michael (Simon Greenall) and radio DJ Dave Clifton (Phil Cornwell). This set up a old v.s new Partridge in both on screen action and the off screen nostalgia satisfaction for fans. There can be no doubts as to how British this film is (this is Partridge) with a large cast from the roots of British comedy. Amongst the finest in small roles are Darren Boyd, Colm Meaney (Pat) and returning as sidekick Simon was Tim Key.
As always with comedies a general and obvious rule is the more laughs you get the better quality of film. Simply put I was out right laughing nearly every minute and such was the intensity of the gags by the hour mark my face was actually hurting. For the last half hour my intensity of laughing only decreased due to the hilarity that came before. Not to be a biased Partridge fan but I don’t believe I have ever laughed more in the cinema.
I’ve heard a few people mention the fact that people who don’t like Partridge or have never seen any TV shows will fail to find this fun. Firstly if you don’t like Partridge why would you go see the film? Secondly it no doubt helps to have seen previous shows and this would have a big effect on how much you laugh however I do believe the simplicity of the film is enough to give neutrals something to enjoy.
For me I honestly can’t see how a film of Partridge could of gone better and it really is a treat for fans. The real test will be whether it can withstand multiple viewings. There’s already talks about where Alan can go next, we know there will be more Mid Morning Matters with them adjusting the plot to match the events of the film, which sounds pretty exciting. I for one still believe there is mileage left in the character and I would welcome a sequel in some form or another.
Aha! It’s the return of ratings!