In a street called Blue in a very poor neighborhood in Paris, Monsieur Ibrahim is an old Muslim Turkish owner of a small market. He becomes friend of the teenager Jewish Moises, tenderly nicknamed Momo, who lives with his father in a small apartment on the other side of the street. Monsieur Ibrahim gives paternal love and teaches the knowledge of the Qur'an to the boy, receiving in return love and respect. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
To shoot the sunset scene at the place with the columns by the sea, actors and crew drove 12 hours from Istanbul, filmed the scene in the evening, then traveled another 12 hours back to Istanbul. In his DVD commentary, Omar Sharif describes this as the most exhausting day in his entire life. See more »
Every once in a while, a movie comes along that's so simple in nature, so kind in its intentions that it can't be American. One of those select movies is Monsieur Ibrahim, a simplistic, realistic story that takes place in a lower-income area in Paris, where prostitutes roam the street, the streets are overcrowded so much that it's quicker to walk than drive, and two unlikely people meet to form an unlikely but lasting friendship.
Moses (Pierre Boulanger) is a sixteen year old boy who uses the previously mentioned prostitutes often, as his father is too busy making ends meet to really have an impact in Moses's life. When he's caught shoplifting in Ibrahim's (Omar Sharif) store, they soon bond and become friends. Ibrahim teaches Moses many things about life, the universe, and everything. Soon, Moses is basically forced to flee from his home, so the two of them go off on a road trip.
The one thing that sold me about Monsieur Ibrahim was the genuine relationship that seemed to be shared between the two characters. It wasn't anything that seems to be prevalent in cinema now, such as pedophilia or loneliness or the young person teaching life lessons to the older person. It's just like the relationship that many people have with their friends. There were a few times where I felt that it was a little too close for comfort, but other than that, it's just a simple friendship, nothing more.
Ibrahim always had something to say about one thing or another. I especially agreed with his views on money, although some of the dance sequences (and his mediations on dance) seemed a little too heavy (and untrue) for a movie like this. A movie like this switches successfully between comedy and drama (I especially love the piggy-bank analogy), and works. At the end, though, it was predictable, but the final turn worked well. Overall, Monsieur Ibrahim works very well overall, and is one of the most surprising movies I've seen so far this year.
My rating: 8/10
Rated R for some sexual content.
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