Home Video Hovel- Comes a Bright Day, by Chase Beck
Comes A Bright Day has a very theatrical feel to it. That’s not to say that it has an exaggerated or overly dramatic feel to it. The film is “theatrical” in that it feels very much like a theater production, taking place in only a few, defined spaces, or locations. The majority of the film takes place within the confines of an upscale jewelry shop, where every piece has a detailed history and an engaging story. Into this shop walks Sam (Craig Roberts). An assistant to a concierge, Sam is there on a menial errand, but finds himself infatuated with Mary (Imogen Poots) a young woman who works there. The store proprietor (Timothy Spall) mistakes Sam for a rich client and Sam has no desire to tell him otherwise. It’s all the perfect set-up for a 1930’s screwball comedy… until two jewel thieves walk in and begin shooting, first a customer and then several cops outside. It quickly becomes a hostage situation.
This is where the film really shines. Simon Aboud, shows competence writing and directing his first feature length film. While not groundbreaking, the film does hold enough promise that it encourages me to look forward to his subsequent efforts.
As for the actors. It’s always a joy to see Timothy Spall do his thing. Spall is so often relegated in films to secondary characters or mere set-dressing that we so rarely get a opportunity to see him perform for more than a few minutes. Comes A Bright Day doesn’t provide too much for him to do but at least he gets more screen time than the majority of his recent roles. Imogen Poots is mostly there to look beautiful and she handles this with apparent effortlessness. She’s plays one of the least fleshed-out characters in the whole piece. I can’t say that I’m endeared at all to Craig Roberts. However, Aboud’s script requires Robert’s character to be thrashed about the head multiple times so, for me at least, it makes Robert’s role in the film quite tolerable. Perhaps the greatest addition to the cast is Kevin McKidd. As one of the jewel thieves, he seems to relish the opportunity to cut loose; screaming, yelling, threatening and swearing. That’s not to say the role, or his portrayal of it, is one note. His is perhaps the most well-expressed and thought-out role in both writing and execution. Unfortunately, he’s not the main character.
Even though the movie is from Sam’s perspective and is undoubtedly his story, in my opinion the film shines most when McKidd and Spall are interacting with one another on screen. Sam and Mary don’t have much chemistry and the majority of the film is a “will they/won’t they” which is easily overshadowed by the much more serious and interesting events occurring around them. I also thought that the inclusion of the Foo Fighters’ “My Hero” in the film was a rather poor choice, but I’ve never been much of a fan of the song. It in no way ruins the film but it did seem out of place fourteen years after its initial release.
The DVD for Comes A Bright Day includes a theatrical trailer as well as promotional trailers from Strand Releasing. It also includes several production featurettes for the film. The featurettes are short but numerous and include multiple interviews and behind-the-scenes looks into the filming process. Together, the featurettes actually provide a fair amount of insight into the making of this indie film.
So, it really comes down to whether or not you should buy the DVD. I’m a fan of extras and the featurettes are quite a bit more extensive than I was expecting. However, that really counts for very little if you don’t enjoy the film itself. Luckily for you, it’s currently available on Netflix streaming (and Amazon Rental) so you can check it out before you decide to buy. Regardless, the DVD retails for about $24.00.