The Day Shall Come Movie Review
The Day Shall Come Movie Review Metadata
Few comedies catch me off-guard in the way that Chris Morris’s The Day Shall Come did at SXSW this year. I did little research leading up to the premiere, mostly because the tagline “based on 100 true stories,” wasn’t that attention-grabbing – because of the sheer amount of consumable film at SXSW, you really do need to bring your marketing A-game. Luckily, the conference asked me to photograph the red carpet and by extension, review the film.
So here we are. The day came. And now I can’t wait to see The Day Shall Come again.
The film stars newcomer Marchánt Davis as Moses Al Shabazz, a self-proclaimed prophet and leader of “The Star of Six” farm. His farm, which amounts to a small minority militia, is fighting against the gentrification of their Miami neighborhood. It’s clear that Moses is delusional.
This doesn’t stop Anna Kendrick’s character, Kendra, from seeing the group as a potential threat. Kendra is an eager F.B.I. agent whose division targets terrorists on our home soil. That title card, “based on 100 true stories,” is based on news stories that writer and director Morris researched to build this story: the F.B.I. has been encouraging the rise of small militia groups in the U.S., some of them harmless (like “The Star of Six” farm), in order to get them prosecuted and off the street. Kendra wants to arm Moses’ group with illegal weapons, so that she has a stronger case for arrest.
Moses and his wife Venus (Danielle Brooks) are in dire financial trouble and about to lose their farm. Through her informants, Kendra offers the group military-style weapons AND money. Moses agrees because he wants to save his home, not because he wants the weapons. What Kendra doesn’t initially realize is that Moses is not only delusional, he is also very anti-guns. So when the F.B.I. stage their raid, they are shocked when Moses arrives at F.B.I. headquarters with information about the guns…and he wants a reward!
The F.B.I. scramble to correct course but only make the problem way, way worse.
Morris’ film is a complete revelation on a wild subject matter. We might hear of these instances of overreach in the news and think nothing of them, but to see them put into dramatization, you’re entertained and suddenly alerted to an alarming practice from some of our most trusted government agencies. There’s also something to be said about mental health in this country and the lack of resources available to treat a real, growing problem. Morris takes these topics and brilliantly captures his audience in a moral dilemma: should I even be laughing at this?
Selections like The Day Shall Come are what make film festivals a treat for moviegoers like myself. It wasn’t anything I was expecting it to be, it was multi-layered and thought-provoking. It was also very damn (regrettably) funny. As of this writing, the film is seeking U.S. distribution.