"A quite absorbing piece of cinema, setting your typical romantic narrative within the testing surroundings of a bank robbery..."
Director Simon Aboud just so happens to be the son-in-law of a certain Sir Paul McCartney, and his début feature Comes a Bright Day is bound to impress the former Beatle, as a charming little number that could well set the first-time film maker down a long and winding road (sorry) towards a triumphant career in the movies.
We follow clumsy idealist Sam (Craig Roberts), working in a hotel but with dreams of opening his own restaurant alongside best friend and chef Elliot (Anthony Welsh). However on one fateful afternoon Sam meets Mary (Imogen Poots), and following a brief meeting at a local café, Sam musters up the courage to visit Mary at her jewellery store, yet such a daring decision soon proves to be one of the worst Sam could make, following an attempted bank robbery.
Alongside Mary and her boss Charlie (Timothy Spall), Sam must fend off violent robbers Cameron (Kevin McKidd) and Clegg (Josef Altin) who are desperate to take what they need and get out of there. However, the police are soon alerted and have the shop covered as the five must try to come to some sort of agreement, with safety on top of everyone's agenda. Meanwhile, Sam still has his eyes set on Mary, looking for any potential positives to come out of this unpredictable situation.
Aboud, who also wrote the feature, has presented a quite absorbing piece of cinema, setting your typical romantic narrative within the testing surroundings of a bank robbery. Aboud cleverly teases his audience early on, as Comes a Bright Day sets itself up entirely differently to what transpires. Aboud even creates a host of narratives and characters, such as Sam's career path and his relationship with his domineering boss. Yet such potential story lines are dispelled instantly by the robbery, which proceeds to take up the majority of the film’s plot. In a sense, this almost reflects real life, as innocent citizens can't exactly prepare themselves for a robbery, and prior to one taking place life just goes on.
Due to taking a personal look into those involved in a bank robbery, there are certain comparisons to be made to Dog Day Afternoon, although perhaps somewhat unfair to do so given this picture is lacking in Al Pacino and John Cazale. Something of a loss. Nevertheless, Comes a Bright Day has got a pleasing ambience to it, enhanced by the classical soundtrack, which also works by way of enhancing the grandness of the jewellery store and the general elegant, chic feel to this picture.
However, there is certainly an understating of the magnitude of the matter at hand. This is a potentially life-threatening set of circumstances, yet there is a lack of fear shown by the trio of hostages. They are instead more angry at the robbers and seem far too inclined to speak their mind. I'd be terrified. There is a lack of panic portrayed or any sense of the possible repercussions, everyone is all a bit blasé. Such a sentiment does work in some instances though, particularly within the scene when the robbers and hostages eat together, uniting in an appreciation for lovely food.
The performances are generally quite difficult to criticise, aside from perhaps Welsh who is a little lacklustre in his role. Roberts is impressive as Sam, although one can't help but judge the casting. Roberts just comes across, much like his role in Submarine, as a troubled teenager, and I do struggle to believe in him as a genuine lead in a romantic thriller, trying to date actual women. Just seems a bit weird.
Comes a Bright Day is an enjoyable film, unique in many ways, and charming too. However, it does all prove to be a little inconsequential, and somewhat forgettable. Such a thought mostly results from the understated and anticlimactic finale, which almost devalues everything that lay before it. Nonetheless, I am anticipating Aboud's second film, as with or without his impressive connections, this is unlikely to be a mere case of hello, goodbye (Sorry, again – couldn’t resist).