Chris Morris (director)
11 October 2019 (released)
12 October 2019
There’s a theory that the FBI are the leading recruiters of terrorists in the USA today. The method is to basically pick on someone vaguely suspicious and manipulate them into breaking the law then put them away for a very long time. That sort of behaviour could radicalise, what is in no doubt is the FBI’s hand in this and their contrivances with federal attorneys to get convictions. This activity has been exhaustively researched by Chris Morris and the basis for The Day Shall Come.
Moses Al Shabaz (Márchant Davis) is head of a small community that he runs with his wife Venus (Danielle Brooks). He has plans to overthrow the government but with a ban on guns and an army of four, its little more than a pipe dream. Nevertheless they are committed to the cause as well as serving the community through their farm.
Cold reality kicks in when the rent is due and repossession comes on the cards. Until local corner shop owner and sleaze ball Reza (Kayvan Novak) offers the services of rich a Middle Eastern man Nur Ad-din (Pej Vahdat) who can offer cash for causes. Sensing a sting Moses exaggerates the size of his operation to get the $50,000 on offer.
Meanwhile the local FBI are in a fizz having just messed up an operation, leaving local station chief Andy Mudd (Denis O’Hare) hopes of surfing out of the Miami office and retiring on a high are on the rocks. However, Reza (and Nur) are on the books as informants and on a string. (As ambitious agent Kendra (Anna Kendrick) explains how over a phone call spilling the sort of information that by rights should be sending Reza to jail.) They concoct a plan to lure Moses into the transaction arrest him thereby getting Mudd his conviction, Kendra her promotion and Reza stays at large.
What they hadn’t counted on was Moses turning up on the day to the operation to report the middle eastern man asking for a reward. This blows the case leaving Kendra to speak to Moses and send him off, the operation seemingly blown. But Moses returns to his home to find his wife and daughter on the street.
An opportunity to deal in nuclear materials presents itself which Moses in his desperation grabs as does the equally desperate Kendra. What follows is a farce that pulls in the FBI, the police, Nazis and a televised nuclear emergency that comes to a conclusion at Moses daughter’s birthday party!
There is a lot going on in The Day Shall Come which while complex doesn’t become an incoherent mess. That’s in the main because there’s a tight focus on Moses who is basically a deluded hapless individual who find himself in a situation that he tries to manipulate for the good, totally unaware of the scheming going on around him.
And around him are squabbles within the FBI, who are in turn up against the police in a few scenes that eviscerate the two institutions. They may sound and act like idiots (and these are very funny scenes filmed docu-style) but on reflection these people are not fools. They are cunning, driven by personal ambition and an ultra-competitive nature that buries their ethics and morals.
The script is as one would expect from Chris Morris skewering those that deserve it balanced with heart and compassion for those exploited. It is very funny but Moses cuts a tragic figure; in way out of his depth as events just pile up on him. Márchant Davis is excellent as the bewildered and deluded Moses playing him with a palpable pathos; a character who is no fool just sucked into venal inter-institutional power play.