Review: The World Is Yours
by Bénédicte Prot
- CANNES 2018: Romain Gavras directs a hilarious film with a well-developed plot that leads to a gang of petty drug dealers pretending to be gangsters on the Costa Brava
Eight years after his debut feature film, Our Day Will Come [+see also:
film profile], Romain Gavras returns with a suburban comedy about petty drug dealers entitled The World Is Yours [+see also:
interview: Romain Gavras
film profile], a kind of Guy Ritchie frenchie on holiday at Club Med, which managed to get quite a few laughs from the audience during its screening at the Directors' Fortnight at the 71st Cannes Film Festival.
The film is charming, and its cast is great. Mummy's boy, Fares (Karim Leklou), leader of a gang that steals from the local department store, is tired of being under his mother's thumb (the priceless Isabelle Adjani, emasculating at will - there's no screwing her sideways). Instead, he dreams of setting up a Mr. Freeze franchise in the Maghreb, which requires a quick drug deal beforehand so that he can get the cash he needs for the initial investment. Add a bunch of colourful losers: a big boss from the city, a gang of peroxide Zairians who give their off-road suburban lawyer a very difficult task at every court hearing (Philippe Katerine), two not-so-smart henchmen who seem to be living life as if they were in a Playstation game, an Illuminati-obsessed conspiracy theorist who sees triangles everywhere and who deeply reflects on Daniel Balavoine's cheesy radio songs from the 1980s (played by Vincent Cassel, of course) and a pretty Arab girl who never misses a comeback (Oulaya Amamra, the heroine in Divines [+see also:
interview: Houda Benyamina
film profile]). Transport all of these beautiful people to the Costa Brava and add a hefty Scottish gang boss with a knife-cut accent, some Gucci sunglasses, a variety of incredible 80s music karaoke performances, and a "fixer" played by the unforgettable François Damiens (as you can imagine, Farés’ project, which is already somewhat fragile in his own neighbourhood, only ends up failing when he takes it abroad): you will not be disappointed!
The very well-constructed screenplay, written by Gavras along with Karim Boukercha and Noé Debré, only serves to make things more convoluted with its low-blows and increasingly complicated scams, but always seems to land on its feet, in addition to offering us jubilant dialogue with humour that doesn’t just revolve around dialects, all while maintaining the grace to not take itself too seriously, even when it comes to the ungrateful mother-son relationship that foolishly brings Fares closer to the poor daughter of a Scotsman (the one-upmanship regarding parental dishonour is hilarious – while Adjani drops phrases like "I could have left you on the steps of a church and now you’d be a paedophile," the mobster from across the Channel has straight out enrolled his daughter in a special needs school in order to collect subsidies for Mongolians...), a plot line that serves to soften the story just the right amount without sacrificing its humour.
The film’s underlying motif regarding the superiority of women also works very well with their roles in the various Nazi gangs fighting over drugs and money, and it’s all down to Gavras and his amazing cast of actors and actresses.
The World Is Yours was produced by Iconoclast Films, Chi-Fou-Mi Productions, StudioCanal, NJJ Entertainment, Tribus P Films and 120 Films. International sales of the film are being handled by StudioCanal.
(Translated from French)
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