<A Perfect Day> starts with what seems a simple story - a group of aid workers tries to resolve a crisis in an armed conflict zone and their challenge is about retrieving a man’s body from a well before it contaminates the water for nearby villagers. It is anything but simple during the travails working in such a war zone. Sophie (Melanie Thierry) is a newcomer, she wants to help; Mambrú (Benecio Del Toro) has seen it all and wants to go home; Katya (Olga Kurylenko) once wanted Mambrú; Damir (Fedja Stukan) wants the war to end, and B (Tim Robbins) doesn’t know what he wants. Humor, drama, emotion, routine, danger and hope: it all fits in a perfect day.
This film is one of those black comedies that can still throw some surprises at you when it comes to the human condition. It is about the people charged with the difficult task of bringing order to chaos. And it portrays their daily attempts to wage a war within another war: against irrationality, against despondency. Against their immense desire to return home. Film Director, Fernando León de Aranoa gives you the kick and a sudden pull your heart without you expecting it.
You really get an insight into their psyche and key motivations. You could say that this group of aid workers are a bunch of misfits in a way, but they have a bond that is essential to their well being and survival and they certainly know how to draw on the strengths of each other and understand when no means yes and the reverse from the Balkan locals.
The performances are delightfully drawn with the actors showing all the tired pathos you would expect from veterans in this situation and the absurdities of what they experience every day are keenly felt, yet this is a film that is not even in all its parts. The main cast is a tight group, yet there are moments of dead air especially the middle part of the movie slowing down the pace and you wonder where things are going until the writing and action hits pay dirt again. With Benecio Del Toro intense dramatic expressing contrasting the unexpected Tim Robbin's buffoonery performance, they created some real good sparks.
There is much to enjoy, but the script could have been tighter and more economical with the drawn out scenario. Worth a look to enjoy such humour and the ending will certainly fascinate you on a perfect day with a perfect ending. Also worth mentioned is the original music score by Arnau Bataller for his various music contributions to different movie genre.
Opening Citywide: 2nd June 2016