The Day Shall Come

Some years ago, Channel 4 having recently aired Paedogeddon leaving a media storm in its wake, I was in Richer Sounds next to a man asking a (presumably now enriched) shop assistant lots of technical questions about a stereo amplifier. It was Chris Morris. Given the overly forensic nature of his enquiry, coupled with the silliness of hi-fi terminology, you could forgive the man behind the counter for his shaking shoulders and barely held together grin, as he tried desperately to suppress laughter.

I manipulated my eyebrows in a manner that would have done Roger Moore proud, to non-verbally inform the shop assistant that, “Yes, it is him and no I don’t think this is a wind up.” I hadn’t seen a hidden camera, so obviously there wasn’t one.

Sadly the Brass Eye amplifier satire never saw the light of day, but this week I saw Chris Morris’ latest film The Day Shall Come.

Set in Miami, the dual narrative movie follows poor farmer/preacher Moses Al Shabaz and how his world shadows the murky operations of the FBI. An Establishment v The People piece, with the latter unwittingly drawn against the other.

Co-written by Jesse Armstrong (Peep Show/Fresh Meat), the film contains sharp, witty dialogue with suitably withering put downs. The fiery interactions between junior FBI officials Kendra and Stevie were far too reminiscent of the interplay between similar characters in The Thick Of It and Veep. Hardly surprising as writers from the latter provided additional material here.

A much warmer film in tone than the director’s predecessor Four Lions, partly due to the sympathetic portrayal of Moses and his family and friends. The bright colours of the beautifully shot outdoor scenes adds to the warmth – the Dominican Republic substituting for Miami. The sound was truly awful at times though, with dialogue suffering from distortion during the scenes set in the FBI offices, in particular.

In the way I have finally learnt to temper my enthusiasm for any new Bond movie to save disappointment, I should perhaps lower my expectations whenever Chris Morris reappears. A brilliant satirist who has achieved so much, it feels a bit churlish to criticise but I had hoped for more from The Day Shall Come. It is an enjoyable film that makes salient political points but lacks the cutting edge of Four Lions and his radio and television work.