Written and directed by Pedro Alonso in his full-length feature debut, Feedback features a cast of superbly talented actors led by Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, The World’s End) as a British Alex Jones-type radio host named Jarvis Dolan who’s on-air politics have recently gotten him into some trouble in the form of a beating by some angry listeners.
While getting set up to do a live show, which will feature a reunion with his ex-co-host Andrew Wilde (The Revenant’s Paul Anderson), Jarvis runs into some technical glitches seemingly caused by new studio tech Claire (Pan’s Labyrinth’s Ivana Baquero). However, once he goes to commercial and tries to get into the control room, he finds the door to be locked and he can’t see through the glass connecting his studio to the control room because the light is off. Not a good sign.
Before long, Jarvis is allowed to see into the control room, and he can see that his producer is tied up and bleeding and there are two guys with masks and weapons holding him hostage. The attackers, played by 31’s Richard Brake and Humans’ Oliver Coopersmith, do some damage on Jarvis and let him know that when ex-co-host Andrew gets there, they will be running the show from behind the dark glass – and Jarvis had better ask the questions they want asked on-air and not let on that they’re in there.
What follows is a well-taught lesson in tension. Pedro Alonso coaxes an incredible performance out of Eddie Marsan as you can almost smell him trying to think his way out of the situation that he’s in. As his captors feed uncomfortable questions to ask Andrew on-air about a potential covered-up crime, the anxiety reaches what you may think is a peak, but it only gets higher as the story moves on. Richard Brake is also in top form here; while I’m used to seeing him only as the heavy, he plays both sides of the fence well in this film.
Feedback does a great job at keeping you guessing and really gets you struggling to piece together what is reality and what is fiction; how far will someone go to hide a lie and at what point will they break? Or were they ever lying at all? Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Toward the final act in the film, Feedback hits a wall and stumbles to a sloppy climax and no real resolution. Even so, I would recommend giving Feedback a watch for the performances and what is, mostly, a solid film.