Intouchables is probably one of the best French movies of the last few years. It’s not hard to see why it raised such a tremendous furor in Europe, and now it’s creating an even bigger fan base for itself in the United States. It’s so utterly pleasurable and heart-warming. Don’t look at it as a foreign feature, though, or you will miss ale the excitement. It’s a movie simply made for the viewers to love and remember. Films like this one don’t come out too often these days, so just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Intouchables presents a truly touching story about an unlikely friendship between an older, extremely rich, but severely paralyzed white man and a black man, who just got out of prison. Philippe is in need of a caretaker and as soon as Omar steps into his house he realizes that he might be the right person for this specific role. The plot doesn’t concentrate too much on the way that those two guys connect over time, but quickly shows how they got so fond of each other. It was as if they were meant to work together and, in the process, become ‘intouchable’, in a very profound meaning of the word, and inseparable by any outer force. It’s fantastic to see how people from completely different backgrounds are able to form such a strong bond and spend so many wonderful days and nights together. Even though at first it might seem that Omar may be overly vulgar, disrespectful, ignorant, and simply inadequate for this hard job, Philippe is still eager to give him a chance. What’s more, many of Philippe closest friends don’t approve of his new companion, but that doesn’t discourage him.
It is simply remarkable, how Omar is able to bring warmth, enthusiasm, and so much fun into Philippe’s life. They actually operate on the same wavelength, as it might seem, sharing the same views and opinions on various topics. Through Omar Philippe understands that sometimes all it takes to achieve pure happiness is to let go and do what one feels like doing, as if nothing really mattered, even if you are attached to a wheelchair.
And with that moving tale the movie creates a very powerful message, showing that all the wealth and money isn’t capable of making a man truly happy, when he doesn’t have someone to share it with. It’s the richness in heart and mind that really matters, not the abilities of a body blessed with fortune and power.
Through his brilliant, funny, and very real performance, Omar Sy will probably give his career a fantastic jump start. He is able to show the transition that his character goes through, from a cold man living on the streets, to a deeply compassionate and art-loving protector, in the most convincing manner.
The amount of clever, laughable, and sometimes insulting (but timed very adequately) jokes is simply overwhelming. Also, notice the amazing mix of classic music and 60’s soul and the way it enhances the visualization of this very peculiar friendship between the characters.
I don’t think that if someone would’ve come to me with a script and said: ‘Listen, I got a story about a young black guy who makes fun of a handicapped man and gives him weed to smoke just to make him feel more relaxed’ I would’ve bought it.
It’s a simple exaggeration, but through that straight statement I want to show that the movie has yet so much more to offer, making the marvelous Intouchables a true stand-out movie of the last few years. Highly recommended.