Our Day Will Come [Notre Jour Viendra] Movie Review
Teenager Remy (Barthelmy) is mercilessly teased by his football teammates for his red hair. At the end of his tether he meets jaded therapist Patrick (Cassel), who whisks him away on an adventure. Patrick's boldness inspires Remy to imagine a place where redheads are welcome, and they set out on a road trip across France. But things get increasingly crazed as Remy's obsession and Patrick's careless exuberance overflow in extremely unpredictable ways, from a stolen car to a decadent stay in a roadside hotel.
Filmmaker Gavras creates a darkly intense atmosphere, playing with textured camerawork, a foreboding score and lurid colours to keep us on edge. He also throws us straight into the premise, requiring us to believe that gingers are France's most despised minority while letting us work out back-stories on our own. It's clear that Remy is a lonely nerd; his only friend is an online buddy he has never met. And when he meets Patrick, both are liberated from their tedious lives.
Cassel has a ball chomping on scenery as Patrick gets increasingly scary.
"Carrot-tops of the world unite!" he cries with messianic zeal. "We're a people without an army!" Meanwhile, Barthelmy effectively lets Remy slowly emerge from his shell, as he gains confidence and becomes even more deranged than his mentor. As he locks onto Ireland as the "land of dreams", we first laugh and then feel sad for him.
So it's a little frustrating that the plot continually takes off-putting twists, even as the startling comedy and violence keep us gripped. A late section that turns strangely mopey and gloomy is a let-down after the manic energy that went before. And the story becomes dizzying as the it touches on such a wide range of issues, including sexuality, obesity, disability and of course mental illness. Still, it's so manic that we don't have much time to think.