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Feedback Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Signature Entertainment


Directed by Pedro C. Alonso
Written by Pedro C. Alonso and Alberto Marini
2019, 97 minutes, Not Yet Rated
UK FrightFest premiere on 24th August 2019

Eddie Marsan as Jarvis Dolan
Paul Anderson as Andrew Wilde
Ivana Baquero as Claire
Richard Brake as Hunter/Brennan


At last, British character actor and perennial underdog Eddie Marsan gets his moment in the spotlight, and the lead role in this gritty Spanish-directed hostage thriller. Playing a controversial radio talkshow host caught up in a violent hostage situation, Marsan's Jarvis Dolan faces the worst night of his life when masked gunmen break into the studio, setting an agenda of their own. It's a break from talking about Brexit, Dolan's usual bread-and-butter, but discussing the alleged misbehaviour of an old friend may hit a bit too close to home for all involved...

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Feedback is a hostage thriller for our time (even if Alan Partridge got there first) and the DJ's trial via radio show feels more relevant than ever. The script by director Pedro C. Alonso and co-writer Alberto Marini is packed full of references to Brexit, #MeToo and Trump, but is primarily concerned with the behaviour of its characters and the eking out of truths in this age of gaslighting, victim blaming and fake news.

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All of which could have been a buzzword-laden chore in a lesser director's hands. Thankfully, as heavy-handed as its themes are, Feedback is a tremendous hostage thriller in its own right, ramping up the tension early on and never letting either the viewers or characters out from its vice-like grip. The violence hits hard, and is inflicted on its characters sparingly but effectively; think Green Room meets Hard Candy.

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This, backed up by a fantastic lead performance from Eddie Marsan. No stranger to playing both put-upon everymen and seedy thugs, he puts his expertise to good use as the shifty Dolan, leaving the audience constantly guessing as to his motives and past. He's paired well with Richard Brake, (who dials his schtick back a lot more than we have seen recently, to great effect) and Paul Anderson is well-utilised as his old pal and ex-partner. Ivana Baquero and Alana Boden get less showy roles, but play into the overall story to great importance, especially given its emerging themes and plot twists.

Alonso juggles shocking action with startlingly relevant politics, violent brutality with tough emotional beats. A more tense, grim hostage thriller hasn't been seen since Marsan's own The Kidnapping of Alice Creed. Aha!


Movie: 4 Star Rating Cover
Buy Amazon Uk

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About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer - UK
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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