A powerful French road movie with occasional outbursts of violence, Our Day Will Come deals with themes such as alienation, identity, family, and confused sexuality. So not exactly a barrel of laughs then, but delivered with a light enough touch to keep the mood from becoming oppressive.
Red-headed teenager Francois has a chip on his shoulder. Socially awkward, bullied at school and isolated from all around him, one night he assaults his mother and flees the house to save the girlfriend he met playing World of Warcraft who has threatened suicide. Called to the house, his counsellor Patrick (Vincent Cassel) spots Francois in the street and offers to drive him to find his girlfriend. Soon it’s revealed Patrick doesn’t actually know where she’ll be – or indeed what she even looks like – but Patrick is conspicuously keen to enter into this adventure. Further humiliation awaits Francois, and fellow red-head Patrick resolves to teach the kid to stand up for himself and gain some self-confidence. His methods, however, are unorthodox to say the least and while at the start it’s all good fun, soon things turn serious and the two are on a road trip to inevitable self-destruction.
Francois and Patrick are like two sticks of dynamite waiting for a detonator. Neither pushes the other over the edge; it’s an entirely mutual thing. They feed of each others’ burgeoning insanity; encouraging and facilitating it in themselves and each other, and it’s a fascinating relationship to watch develop.
Cassel, as ever, is fantastic. By sheer force of personality Patrick is able to draw people to him and the audience as well. By turns magnetic and repellent (and often in the same moment), whether shouting racist abuse and insulting random strangers, or disinterestedly eating crisps while a patient pours her heart out to him, his performance is electric. Olivier Bartelemy as Francois fares less well, but it’s by no means a bad performance. The supporting performances are natural and the characters well-drawn.
It’s well-directed by first-timer Romain Gavras without being particularly distinctive, and the photography is crisp and clean.. The score is distinctive and filled with some frankly awesome tracks. The script keeps things moving nicely for the most part: it’s well-paced until the last act where it tends to drag slightly – the script running out of steam mirroring the characters running out of options. But it’s certainly not fatal. Overall it’s a decent little film and well worth a look.
Director: Romain Gavras
Stars: Vincent Cassel, Olivier Barthelemy, Justine Lerooy
Runtime: 90 min