Feedback (2019)

Feedback
Director: Pedro C. Alonso
Writer: Pedro C. Alonso, Alberto Marini
Cast: Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coopersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head, Alana Boden, Nacho Aldeguer
Part of: Secret Society screening at the /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2019
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Content Note: rape, rape culture

Plot:
Jarvis (Eddie Marsan) and Andrew (Paul Anderson) used to have a radio show together when they were younger, but they went different ways a while ago. Now Jarvis has his own show where he tackles social problems and generally politicizes in a very straight-forward, brash way. But the show hasn’t been going so well, so the radio station has asked him to team up with Andrew again to increase ratings. Jarvis is not enthusiastic, but doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter. On their first night back in front of the mic together, masked men storm the radio station and force Jarvis and Andrew to reveal their secrets live on air.

Feedback is a film that takes the implications of the entire #metoo movement seriously and makes a bold statement about what white cis men can get away with. It’s a bit of a downer, but given its subject matter, that’s entirely appropriate.

The film poster showing Jarvis (Eddie Marsan) from behind. He is wearing headphones and watching four screens with masked men, a woman and himself screaming.

[SPOILERS]

Feedback is the kind of film that you leave with absolute unease and maybe a hint of despair because its ending is just so realistic. Of course, a more optimistic take would have been reassuring, but the weight of the ending’s realism is extremely powerful. If you don’t leave it with outrage at what white cis men can and do get away with, you haven’t been watching the same film I watched.

This starts with Jarvis’ willingness to throw everyone under the bus as long as it isn’t him and he gains some advantage, to his shameless lying and denying even in the face of people who actually know better. That he is actually politically more on the left adds another layer of the film’s criticism, because lefty men often like to pretend that they are beyond sexism and rape culture.

Jarvis (Eddie Marsan) sitting in the radio studio.

There was just the last moment with Jarvis’ daughter Julia (Alana Boden) that was a little too open for me. I would have wanted her to stay more obviously angry with him so he gets at least a little punishment in some way.

Apart from the political dimension, the film also works extremely well. It’s tense and exciting and doesn’t have a boring minute. Marsan is fantastic. And the setting in the radio station with its many rooms is a fascinating look behind the scenes and visually engaging. Overall, I was really impressed by the film.

Two masked men looking at each other inside the radio studio.

Summarizing: very strong.

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