The World Is Yours
Farès (Karim Leklou) is a pudgy ne’er-do-well who’s not cut out for the cutthroat life of drug dealing in Parisian suburbs, so he tries to go legit. He brokers a deal to become the sole supplier of Mr Freeze in Morocco but his mother Danny (Isabel Adjani) has gambled away the inheritance he needs to seal the deal. Farès decides to take care of a big heroin deal for his violent boss in Benidorm, Spain to recuperate his losses but quickly bites off more than he can chew when the deal goes bad. He takes his misfit gang along for the ride and eventually calls in the help of his mum, who taught him the ins and outs of the hustle racket.
Director Romain Gavras blends the humour of Guy Ritchie and the the scope of Scarface together beautifully to create his own twist on the gangster genre. His aesthetic is souped up with the energy of a trap video and fueled by the neon of the European Cancun that is Benidorm. The sleazy world of British party animals and Spanish drug dealers is a vivid backdrop, producing comedy gold that grounds the violence and high-stake twists and turns. The World is Yours works best at its most absurd: Gavras fearlessly cracks clever jokes on European racism whilst simultaneously patching together a network of betrayals and allyships.
Vincent Cassel whimsically acts as Farès’s counsel, Henri, spaced out on conspiracy theories about the Illuminati and chemtrails. Cassel and Adjani colour the film with weird and wonderful energy, lifting the story out of mere drug deals and money in suitcases and into the realm of the beautifully bizarre. Danny’s use of her maternal instincts to persuade Farès to do her bidding is inspired, and his reliance on her experience is complimented nicely by her recurring ruthlessness, sending their schemes off the rails.
Unfortunately, the film focuses too much on Leklou’s restrained performance, a constant wet blanket, extinguishing the narrative just as it heats up. Framed as “just a regular guy” lost in a chaotic world of crime, his range conveys two emotions: “in over my head” and “thinking”. His banality stifles the movie at times but also provides it with a truly whimsical twist at the finale so perhaps the means justify the ends. The second act takes a little wind out of the sails and so the final heist is rushed and a little too busy smugly celebrating its own victory lap to be truly surprising.
The World is Yours is a charming, impressive tale of redemption that comes close to making a worthy addition to the cramped canon of the gangster genre.
The World Is Yours is released in select cinemas on 26th May 2019.
Watch the trailer for The World Is Yours here: