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Romain Gavras is no political firebrand like his father, Costa-Gavras. But there is something faintly political in his decision to make what former French president Nicolas Sarkozy called la racaille (“scum”)– the outsiders, chancers and artful dodgers from the country’s immigrant underclass – so unrepentantly the heroes of his second film, a brash and jubilant Guy Ritchie-style crime caper.
Karim Leklou stars as Farès, a schlubby small-time dealer looking to go straight by acquiring the Mr Freeze ice-pops franchise in Morocco. When he finds out that his mother (a brazen Isabelle Adjani) has gambled away the savings needed to close the deal, he’s forced to lead a Benidorm drugs run for Putin, the new drug lord on the block.
Long part of the Parisian hipster set, with music videos for Justice and MIA under his belt, Gavras packs The World Is Yours with high social-satire tonnage: from Adjani’s monstrous bling-hunting Maghreb mum, to Mohamed and Mohamed, the two tracksuited lackeys who enjoy running down English-speaking tourists to beat up live on Periscope. What saves the director from hipster archness is his feel for the argot and eye for detail, often visually delivered with the succinct kick of a great sample. That affection even bends to something almost melancholic, as in the closeup on the dandruff Vincent Cassel’s gone-to-seed ex-con flicks off his shoulder at one point. Gavras often takes such private moments and lets them run free into music-vid transcendence. Left to her own devices in her flat, Adjani gives us a boogie and a few wistful bars of French soft rock.
Everyone on this Costa del Eurotrash is looking for an angle. Farès believes his girlfriend has got his back, but she looks ready to jump ship once it looks as if Sam Spruell’s leering Scottish supplier has got his number. “Europe isn’t Club Med,” Farès’s fixer warns the Eritrean pool boys he’s keeping on a dollar a day. In The World Is Yours, it’s actually a globalised free-for-all where someone more venal is just around the corner. Gavras has seized his chance, staging this uptempo, carnivalesque crime pic with panache and wit.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: The World Is Yours review – brash Franco-crime caper | World cinema