Release Date: October 22, 2013
MPAA Rating: NR
Director: Romain Gavras
FilmPulse Score: 7/10
Director Romain Gavras has a thing for redheads; they seem to provide Gavras with a wealth of creativity and inspiration that all started with his Punishment Park–style, redhead round ’em up music video for M.I.A.’s “Born Free“. Romain Gavras, along with co-writer Karim Boukercha, build upon that idea of redheads as second class citizens, suffering from intolerance and prejudice, marrying it with an angst-ridden youth lashing out at society with his debut feature length film Our Day Will Come. The outcome materializes in the form of dark and twisted, bromance road-trip fantasy, something akin to a red-headed male version of Thelma & Louise…with a crossbow.
Olivier Barthelemy stars as Rémy, a red-headed teenager who’s bullied at nearly every conceivable opportunity, whether it be at home, at school, or the basement of a World of Warcraft gaming spot; essentially he’s ridiculed everywhere, perhaps, because of the color of his hair or maybe because he suffers from a fictional disorder called Submissive Syndrome or because Rémy appears to be sexually confused. Which is understandable, given that 95% of the time people suffering from Submissive Syndrome ultimately become homosexuals. Most importantly though, Rémy just does not fit in and worst yet does not even know where to start.
Luckily for Rémy, a Guidance Counselor/Psychoanalyst by the name of Patrick (Vincent Cassel) decides to take a detour from his unsatisfying and boring life to help Rémy find his way. Just so happens that Patrick is a fellow redhead, as well, forming an unlikely kinship that quickly proceeds to push back against a society that they perceive as prejudiced and unjust towards their kind. The film promptly turns into a game of alpha-male domination between Rémy and his mentor Patrick, with Patrick firmly in the lead towards the beginning until things change and Rémy is put in charge, deciding that the pair must make the pilgrimage to Ireland where they will finally be accepted by their own kind.
Where writer/director Gavras succeeds with Our Day Will Come is that he treats this outlandish and ridiculous story with such seriousness. Sure, it is a film rife with darkness and violence, but ultimately Our Day Will Come is a dark comedy…a pitch-black, road-trip buddy comedy. The strength of which comes in the form of the outstanding chemistry between Barthelemy and Cassel, with Barthelemy playing a slightly one-note, angst-ridden youth simply lashing out at the world and Cassel portraying a perfect blend of depravity, caring mentor, revolutionary and general self-loathing. That self-loathing is entirely on display during his three-way, hotel suite romp that ends with him lighting a female’s chest on fire, concluding with him terrorizing a young couple in a hot tub as Rémy rides an exercise bike with a crossbow firmly pointed at Patrick.
Our Day Will Come also strongly benefits from the striking visuals provided by cinematographer Andre Chemetoff, who along with Gavras and his penchant for bold, uncompromising imagery, create a visually stunning world of brutality. Framing the story in an industrial portion of France, using imagery reminiscent of Antonioni’s Red Desert, Our Day Will Come feels like a film set in the present, past and future all at once. Chemetoff exquisitely captures all the action of the ever-increasing absurd set-pieces created by Gavras, with the film eventually spiraling into violent madness. Crossbow victims, gunshot wounds, more crossbow victims, brandishing shotguns and hi-jacking hot-air balloons, all started by the second worst scalp-shaving scene in film (top spot occupied by Headhunters), provide the perfectly outlandish ending to a completely out-of-control film.