Radio show host Jarvis Dolan (Eddie Marsan) is no stranger to controversy. Picking over the bones of a Britain torn apart by Brexit, his radio show commands a huge following. However, for station boss Norman Burgess (Anthony Head) that’s not enough. Pulling him into a meeting with louche, former co-host Andrew Wilde (Paul Anderson), Burgess wants Jarvis to take Andrew back. After much persuasion, Jarvis agrees to do this but as he heads into the studio to start his show, he has no idea of the night of violence that awaits him.
… suffocates on a surfeit of shouting when a whisper would have had more effect.
‘Feedback’ is a small budget horror movie where one man’s past can eclipse another man’s future. Cast as prickly Jarvis Dolan, Eddie Marsan delivers on the promise that his many of this co-starring roles have hinted at. Taciturn yet explosive, Marsan’s face mirrors Jarvis’s distance from his daughter and the poisoned chalice of success he is forced to drink from again and again. Caught in a reputation of his own making, Marsan’s Jarvis is at his best he delivers an opening monologue that echoes Eric Bogosian in Olive Stone’s excellent ‘Talk Radio’.
However, whilst the central pairing of Eddie Marsan and Paul Anderson dependably growl and snipe at each other, it is ‘Feedback’s’ younger cast that sadly drown its early invective with static interference. Relying upon shrieking and shouting so as to mask a basic lack of acting craft, their performances cut out the heart of Marsan’s first solo feature.
Veering dangerously into what resembles a high budget student film, ‘Feedback’s only redeeming feature is Marsan’s indifference to the mess he finds himself in. Oblivious to and yet still unbelievably present, his commitment of Jarvis supersedes all other considerations, including a dire ending that tries to snatches shock and awe from an emptying bag of tricks.
Ultimately coming off as a pale imitation of a Gaspar Noé movie, ‘Feedback’ apes the nihilism of ‘Climax’ without ever trusting its cast to get you there. Laboriously plotted to the point here the tables only ever turn in one direction, ‘Feedback’ suffocates on a surfeit of shouting when a well-placed whisper would have had more effect.
Dead air on radio. It’s the creepiest thing – until you don’t bother to use it.