THE WORLD IS YOURS, from director Romain Gavras, had its U.S. premiere last week at Fantastic Fest and this film is one hell of a wild ride. The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, Sam Spruell, and Karim Leklou as Farès, who has the misfortune of being at the center of a truly insane story. The crime caper features characters whose actions cause you to wonder if they are inherently evil or just not very bright. Add comedy and a few intense action sequences to the mix, and this film possesses the perfect formula for an incredibly good time.
Farès is a mid-level drug dealer who dreams of living a normal life and opening a Mr. Freeze freeze pop franchise. Leklou hilariously portrays Farès as lovable and down on his luck, the latter thanks mostly to his mother Danny (Isabelle Adjani) who is an expert criminal. Danny’s exploits include things like shoplifting and breaking and entering, which have allowed her to acquire an abundance of expensive clothing and accessories from Burberry and Prada and she is always dressed stunningly. When she finds out Farès has a large sum of money put away for his Mr. Freeze franchise, she can’t resist the urge to gamble the money away.
Romain Gavras co-wrote the film with Karim Boukercha and Noé Debré. The writing is elaborate and original, and the dialogue is witty and fresh. I think the couple of times I found the story to be a bit confusing was due to the fact that there are an immense number of zany characters involved. I only mention this because there is a lot going on in this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the pace really picks up at times, so pay attention or you might miss something,
Once Farès realizes his mother not only stole his money, but she lost it gambling, he is furious and his only hope of getting enough money to start his business is to reluctantly agree to one last drug deal. He enlists the help of his friend Henri (Vincent Cassel) and agrees to make a deal with a shady Scotsman by the name of Bruce played by Sam Spruell. He makes plans to journey to Spain to complete the deal and takes along his old girlfriend, and one of this mother’s partners in crime, Lamya (Oulaya Amamra).
It seems that Farès is constantly the victim of bad luck, usually due to things that are completely out of his control, and therefore the deal doesn’t go as planned. Of course, once his mother inserts herself into the drug deal, along with a few very unstable individuals, it appears that Farès will be lucky to make it out alive, let alone with the money he needs to start up his Mr. Freeze franchise. Before he even realizes what is happening, he is involved in kidnapping and is forced to deal with Henri’s sudden obsession with the Illuminati, who Henri is convinced are out to get them all.
THE WORLD IS YOURS is a gleeful romp through one bad situation after another punctuated by a gifted cast, comedic brilliance, and imaginative writing. By the end, I found myself cheering for Farès and his Mr. Freeze popsicles.