Chris Morris’ The Day Shall Come has hit cinemas. The long awaited follow up to Morris’ brilliant and hilarious Four Lions, The Day Shall Come sees Morris jump into the world of the FBI’s investiagtions into domestic terrorism.
Much like Four Lions this is an incredibly dark satirical comedy, which gives us an insight into the people that filmmakers often don’t want us looking at. In this case we follow Moses Al Shabazz, the leader of an incredibly small religious commune in Miami, who comes onto the FBI’s radar as someone they can potentially set up for terrorism, after a failed attempt to push another man into commiting a terrorist attack. It becomes quickly apparent that Moses is suffering from some kind of mental illness, as when he stops taking his antipsychotic medication he believes that animals begin talking to him.
FBI Agent Kendra Glack attempts to entrap Moses into buying fifty Kalashnikov assault rifles from an FBI informant pretending to be a sheikh affiliated with Al-Qaeda. Moses isn’t interested in the guns, as he is against the use of firearms, but he needs the cash that is being offered along with them to keep his commune, as he has failed to pay rent. It is clear in the film that the FBI isn’t actually interested in stopping any legitimate terrorist attacks, instead only attempting to make themselves look good, by pushing people who would never actually commit any acts of terrorism into doing something convictable.
As the film begins to descend into farce it reaches an incredible climax. Morris wrote the film with his collaborator from Four Lions Jesse Armstrong, who co-created Peep Show, wrote for The Thick of It, and whose current show Succession is gathering huge critical acclaim. The finale that Morris and Armstrong create is such a powerful, farcical, and heartbreaking one. They really have something important to say with The Day Shall Come, and absolutely nail it with the finale.
The one aspect of the film that is a little disappointing has to be some of the comedy. It isn’t nearly as funny as it should be. That certainly isn’t to say that there are no laughs in the film, and when they do land, they land hard. But a lot of the more comedic moments don’t quite work, and certainly not as frequently as they did in Four Lions.
Much like his previous work in film Chris Morris has tapped into a story the kind of story that isn’t being told, but should be, and created an important film for people to see in The Day Shall Come. Whilst not all the comedy quite worked there are still some big laughs, and the talent behind the film is undeniable.