Radio

All is not as it seems when two old-timers running a village radio station find themselves at the heart of a mysterious viral outbreak.

Genre: Drama

Length: 21:42

Free To View

4 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Daniel Hammersley, Adam Singodia

Director/s : Daniel Hammersley, 

Writer/s : Daniel Hammersley, 

Actor/s : Simon Wright, Angus Barnett

 

Something on the air

After forty years, John returns to the village in which he was raised. He’s been an army officer all his life, which turns out to be useful experience when reports come in of a viral outbreak, no transport links, quarantine, and advice not to approach anyone who is ill or acting strangely.

Yes, it’s a zombie movie, but not in the horror genre: this is a comedy. John is welcomed by his boyhood friend Jim, who runs a very local radio station. When the station’s roving reporter says he’s being pursued, then suddenly goes offline, they use the airwaves to advise villagers how to get themselves to safety. Then they must look after themselves, running the gauntlet to the abandoned local shop for supplies, to a defendable house, and when that isn’t right, to the pub.

The film is held together by Angus Barnett’s turn as the jolly but none too bright local talkshow host Jim. Barnett has real comedy character chops – he was one of the pair of idiot naval guards recurring in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. You could imagine David Jason playing the part, and he wouldn’t have done it better. Simon Wright’s John is a perfect foil, all anxious self-consciousness. Writer-director Daniel Hammersley has wisely decided not to imitate the Frost / Pegg dynamic, and keeps the tone closer to Last of the Summer Wine than Sean of the Dead.

Technically, it’s excellent, notably the lighting and fluidly mobile camerawork by Adam Singodia.

Hammersley says he wants Radio to contribute to the conversation about mental wellbeing in people leaving military service. Well, maybe. What comes through most strongly is a very English sense of timeless community and friendship.