Talk Radio (1988)

Last Tuesday in class we watched the 1988 American drama film Talk Radio. Now I was not born in the 80s so I am not aware if any of the actors are still relevant today, except for Alec Baldwin. I’ve also seen John C. McGinley (who played Stu) in a few things throughout the years. The first thing I noticed instantly was how much Alec Baldwin aged throughout the years. On a more serious note, the film intrigued me the moment the main character Barry Champlain (portrayed by Eric Bogosian) began to insult himself as well as speak his mind. No one should ever be denied their rights to speak their mind. I also feel its important to poke fun at ones self every once and a while. Throughout the entire film, every time a caller would call the studio an eerie type of music would play, sort of eluding to the fact that nothing good will come from this call. Each phone call was more entertaining than the last, but some phone calls were insanely disturbing. The phone call with the caller implying that he sent a bomb to the studio, but in reality he sent a dead rat wrapped in a Nazi flag to Champlain since he is a Jew, wins the award for the creepiest radio call in a movie ever. I kept on feeling that a crazed person who disagrees with his views in life would eventually kill Champlain. As the film proceeded onwards, I began to forget about my theory of Champlain’s possible assassination, especially after he went to a town basketball game and was only ‘booed’ out of the stadium with the occasional item thrown at him. It was not until the characters returned back to the radio show setting that the feeling of suspense came back to me. It could be the fact that they movie is shot in one small black room, giving me and a few other people a worried feeling. There is a huge wide window behind Champlain in his radio tower and I could not stop thinking about how at any minute some lunatic is going to shoot him right from behind.  Each and every second of the film that still remained, I found myself counting down till the moment Champlain is eventually killed.  I became certain that he was going to be murdered; I just did not like the element of surprise from not knowing when. As the film approached the final scene with Champlain walking his girlfriend to the parking lot and planning on going home, I almost entirely gave up on the theory of Champlain being murdered. Then in the blink of an eye, the camera flashes over to a shady character sitting in his car breathing heavily and watching Champlain and his girlfriend. I instantly knew that was Champlain’s future murderer and within seconds, I was proven right. This random ‘fan’ comes up to Champlain and shoots him dead multiple times. The film ends with the credits and callers talking to the radio show about Champlain’s surprise death. In general, I did happen to like the movie because it was original and illustrated an important message. Even with all the foreshadowing throughout the film, the ending still catches the audiences off guard.

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