Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa

Having spent a good few years of my life in North Norfolk it was a small (very small) thrill to see some of it caught up in big screen magic. Small thrill is something of an overstatement actually, and big screen magic is rather more of one. That is not to say Alpha Papa isn’t good, its brilliant, it has everything you’d expect from the Alan Partridge character. All of the self aggrandising awkward silliness which eventually leads to something like an epiphany – but never quite, all of the jokes about/with Partridge and enough of the characters from the tv series to give it all a sense of continuity. But really this is just a polite way of saying this should have just stayed on tv. Credit should be given, there are no ridiculous explosions here, or anything else that gives a sense that anyone was going down the “this is a film, we need to make it worthy of the bigger screen” route, but part of me sort of wished they had made a bit more of an effort. I am most cynical about the whole campaign to get the premiere of the film moved to Norwich. As a county in love with jokes about its own backwards-ness, whilst rentals in Norfolk couldn’t even see the film a third of its_ way into profit (I did the math) it could be the perfect position from which to start a slow burning cult following, which is exactly what the film needs. What better way to stoke the fire than an impromptu relocation of the premiere from the glamourous capital to the ‘seen better days’ underdog cinema in Anglia Square. Alpha Papa had some good laughs and some awkward ones, but ultimately it left me wondering if it wouldn’t have been better to leave Alan in peace at his local radio station, which incidently looks rather like the building at the end of my street…


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