Movie Review: Intouchables (France, 2012)
Intouchables, a movie about a rich quadriplegic who requires a live-in carer that eventually hires a young man from Senegal who is the most unlikely candidate, is a beautiful rendition of how pure a friendship can be when we take away all of societies rules and just focus on simple human traits. By this I mean, laughter, enjoying life, breathing, being there, being friends. What makes this movie good is the unlikeliness of the friendship. The way they start bonding is as pure as it gets. Driss (Omar Sy) has a way of saying things that sometimes may seem inappropriate but it always comes out as being funny because of his personality. He has this natural charm that is difficult to ignore. Even when he doesn’t want to be funny he succeeds in putting a smile on everybody’s face.
Philippe isn’t your typical millionaire. Living in a mansion in the middle of Paris never took him away from the real pleasures in life. He craved adventure and extreme experiences that eventually took him to being what he became, a quadriplegic. He admires this in people and identifies it immediately in Driss the first time he sees him. He also sees that this man isn’t who he’s supposed to be and needs some motivation to become a better person. They both need each other and Philippe acknowledges this from the beginning when he first see’s him. As the story goes on you learn the real values of friendship and caring for each other. Even the most unlikely couple can excel at forming a unique successful union that can bring lots of benefits to each other.
As we learn throughout the story is how well the compliment each other. Philippe wants someone who challenges him, who defies him and makes him laugh. Driss needs to learn how to commit himself to something that he cares. He needs to man up and show that he can be an example to his family. As many immigrants in every country of this world, he falls victim to poverty and ignorance as he can’t get a proper education. Being with Philippe day in day out gets the best out of him. He learns about art and ventures in to the world of painting. Philippe learns all sorts of things from a common man, comparing classical music to popular street sounds. It becomes something that even the viewers learn from. Knowing that this is a real story makes it even more compelling. I wonder how many can say that they can enjoy a friendship as the one these two developed. If you get a chance to watch a movie, be sure that its Intouchables. Its a wonderful movie that should be the frontrunner for best foreign picture in this year’s award season.