The Day Shall Come (2019)

The Day Shall Come poster.jpgDirector: Chris Morris
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Rating: 15
Starring: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Denis O'Hare, Jim Gaffigan, Miles Robbins, Pej Vahdat, Adam David Thompson, Kayvan Novak, Mousa Kraish, James Adomian, Malcolm Mays

Nearly a decade after the release of Four Lions, a directorial debut which was as empathetic as it was a pitch black satire, Chris Morris returns with his sophomore feature. He's ventured over the pond this time around, but while the film may be US centric, it feels like a natural follow-on from Morris' previous work, both films being comedic and farcical, but able to hit hard wherever necessary.

The impoverished leader of a small religious group in Miami, Moses Al Shabazz (Marchánt Davis) is offered cash to save his family from eviction. Little does he know that his sponsor works for the FBI, who plan to turn him into a criminal by fuelling his madcap revolutionary ideas.

Playing to his strengths, Chris Morris is keen to show the absurdity of FBI sting operations, and play up the farcical nature of what TV and Film keenly show to be smooth running operations. As much as it can be to fun to see the clash between Moses' actions, and what the FBI want to occur, the comedic elements could be a bit more consistent. There are a number of instances where the humour unfortunately falls flat, and it's a shame when such comedic talents are on-hand to work with the material.

But where it all succeeds lies in the sobering reality of what this film is truly about. It's a feature about those in power trampling on those underneath them, destroying innocent lives, putting people at risk, and shattering families in an effort to raise in status. Embodying her role well is Anna Kendrick, portraying an FBI operative who rationalises every decision she makes, in an effort to convince herself she's doing good work, and isn't doing it for career advancement. Acting opposite her is Denis O'Hare, relishing his role as Kendrick's boss, and delivering shocking lines which can be treated as farcical. But considering the open dialogue which has come from politics over the past few years, the dialogue is saddeningly plausible to be said by people in power.

The standout member of the cast is Marchánt Davis, a relative newcomer who gives a phenomenal turn as Moses Al Shabaz. He's a religious leader looking out for those he loves, and as much as he talks about overthrowing the white race, is completely unable to go through with such an act. He isn't a violent man, caring about those he loves firstly, and is hopeless at even buying sacks of potatoes. He just wants to provide for his family, keep a roof over their heads, and try to destroy a crane with his mind. But ultimately, this is a man suffering from hallucinations, and is being taken advantage of by government agents who just want a promotion. As the tag line reads, this is based on over a thousand stories, and that's a saddening and heartbreaking realisation.

A farcical comedy it may be, but The Day Shall Come succeeds in the heartbreaking reality at the centre of over a thousand real life FBI sting operations. Chris Morris immersed himself in real life tales to craft this terrific tale, and here's hoping it doesn't take so long for the next one.