Our Day Will Come

In Films, O by David Watson

Ginge. Ginger minger. Carrot top. Rusty crotch. T sparks. Copper balls. Gingervitus. Bloodnut. Daywalker. Ranga.

Ginge. Ginger minger. Carrot top. Rusty crotch. T sparks. Copper balls. Gingervitus. Bloodnut. Daywalker. Ranga. No-one likes redheads very much. The most unbelievable aspect of the Harry Potter movies wasn’t the flying broomsticks, the hippogriffs or that they left responsibility for the school’s admissions to a magic hat; it was that the ginger kid had more than one friend. Maybe we inherently fear their pale skin, their fiery temperaments, their sexual mystique. Maybe it’s because, according to popular myth, Judas was a ginge or that in ancient Britain redheads were insidious invaders, alien others, Celts from across the water. Ronald McDonald. Lenin. Oliver Cromwell. Chucky from Child’s Play. Rebekah Brooks. Other than their propensity towards evil, the major link between these figures is they’re all ginger nuts. Let’s face it, hating redheads is the last acceptable prejudice we can enjoy in the West and we’re not going to give it up without a fight. But the strawberry-blondes are fighting back…

A clarion call for abused gingers everywhere, Our Day Will Come is an abrasive assault on the sensibilities, borrowing its title from one of the slogans of the IRA (Tiocfaidh ár lá). After fighting with his mum, alienated, bullied teenager Remy (Olivier Bathelemy) runs off into the night and falls under the spell of bored psychologist and psycho Patrick (Vincent Cassel). Both redheads with chips on their shoulders, they find in each other kindred spirits and enter into a nihilistic mentor/pupil bromance; the violent, racist, outspoken Patrick teaching the weedy Remy how to be a man and assert himself, Remy dragging Patrick off on a half-baked quest to find the one place where they will be accepted and loved, where gingers are free to walk the streets unmolested, the mythical land of…Ireland?

Wildly self-indulgent and more than a little smug, Our Day Will Come desperately wants to be a hip, anarchic comment on modern French society in the style of Fight Club but it’s sheer grubby nihilism and knowing cynicism steers it closer to 2007’s Ex Drummer, its increasingly unhinged protagonists motivated as much by existential angst as they are by their perceived experience of discrimination. Bold and brash, it’s arresting but suffers from a lack of focus, its anti-heroes a fairly unlikeable duo taking out their frustrations on those even more powerless than themselves; Jews, immigrants, gays, women, gypsies, people unlucky enough to be sharing a hot tub with human/goat hybrid Cassel.

The feature debut of Romain Gavras, director of M.I.A.’s controversial Born Free video and sharing some of the video’s themes and sensibilities (you know, the video where LAPD stormtroopers round up LA’s ginger nuts, drive them into the desert and execute them) Our Day Will Come is a kinetic, gritty walk on the wild side, a strutting, wildly uneven spiral into anarchy.