When we first meet Remy (Olivier Barthelemy), he is both literally and figuratively bruised. He is ostracized from his soccer team, shunned by his family and even mocked online. Then again, he is a redhead, and in the world of Romain Gavras' 'Our Day Will Come,' he's one of many persecuted based on the color of his hair. Patrick (Vincent Cassel) knows his pain, and these two strangers partner up for a road trip to their idea of the promised land -- Ireland -- and cause much mayhem along the way.
The title comes from a slogan used by the IRA, the premise from a music video Gavras directed for rap artist MIA, and the result is a potent political parable in addition to being an exceedingly madcap and somewhat melancholy buddy adventure. Do we even know why Patrick is drawn to Remy in the first place? Not really; after Remy fights with his family and the cops are called, we can assume that psychiatrist/guidance counselor Patrick is assigned to his case, but for all we know, they're simply two strangers who meet in the night. Patrick does counsel him, but only in the form of escalating confrontations -- he's like Ferris Bueller by way of Tyler Durden, out to prevent an angry teen from growing into a numb adult like himself.
And in the Alan Ruck/Edward Norton role, Barthelemy is fine, perfectly volatile but mostly just a sexually confused grump. But it really is Cassel's show, a rebel without a care who is more concerned about his animal crackers than the clients he should be treating, who is prone to pissing in occupied hot tubs and throwing around racial slurs, if only to feel like the more oppressed minority in any given situation. It's a fierce performance, alternately cocky and compassionate, and he's the main reason you won't be able to tear your eyes away from this proudly meandering film.
To be clear, Gavras (son of Costa-Gavras) is far more interested in the journey rather than the destination, and he counters the terrifically foreboding score by Sebastian with his consistently peculiar sense of humor, itself always tinged with real-life regret or frustration. Stripped of its persecution parallels, it's simply the story of two scared men finding and supporting one another in a world hellbent on excluding them from the acceptable definition of happiness, and to his credit, Gavras manages to make this feel much more like a riff on the tale of Don Quixote than simply a two-dudes take on 'Thelma & Louise.'
'Our Day Will Come' is truly transportive filmmaking, a window into a world only one degree off from our own, laden with absurdist charms and about as hypnotic and brash as a klaxon. Although it's not for all tastes, it certainly stands out as a darkly funny, oddly moving look at two individuals looking for a fight, and for a home to call their own.
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