Malabar Princess (2004)

 |  Drama  |  3 March 2004 (France)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 498 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

A man leaves his 8-year old son with his father-in-law who lives near the glacier where the boy's mother died.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques Villeret ...
Jules-Angelo Bigarnet ...
Tom (as Jules Angelo Bigarnet)
Claude Brasseur ...
Damien Jouillerot ...
Urbain Cancelier ...
Fabienne Chaudat ...
Georges Claisse ...
Gardien du refuge
Roland Marchisio ...
Le bijoutier
Patrick Ligardes ...
Gendarme Petit
Franck Adrien ...
Gendarme Hélico
Julianne Loucq ...
Alexandre Brasseur ...
Rémi Bergman ...
The Optician


A man leaves his 8-year old son with his father-in-law who lives near the glacier where the boy's mother died. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

savoy | chamonix | See All (2) »




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Release Date:

3 March 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Malabar hercegnője  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,982,633 (France) (5 March 2004)


$4,981,290 (France) (19 March 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

A boy comes to terms with his mother's death
21 March 2006 | by (France) – See all my reviews

When I hear the word "moving" about a film, I usually fear the worst in the form of sentimental, self-indulgent tripe. This movie skilfully steers away from those perils. Light-hearted comedy and fascination for death are mixed in this truly moving film reminiscent of the all-time French classic "Les jeux interdits".

The storyline: Tom is about ten and gets dumped on his grandfather Gaspard (Jacques Villeret), because his mother is dead, and his father is a train driver who is ofter away and cannot give the child the attention he needs. The grandfather lives at the bottom of the very glacier that swallowed up the child's mother five years before. Tom's troubled history is manifested by problems such as dyslexia and anxiety. These sombre themes are balanced by comedy, and by the endearing characters played by Laroque and Villeret. Claude Brasseur is excellent as a rather unsettling garage owner obsessed with finding the treasure hidden on the India Airways plane named Malabar Princess, that crashed on the glacier fifty years earlier (that much is authentic). Finding the treasure involves using dynamite, and on occasions he brings back human remains to be kept in bottles. The whole script is as if seen through the eyes of a child, with crude realism mixed to dream-like fantasies. Jacques Villeret's baby face and innocent outlook further contribute to anchor the film into the world of childhood.

The beauty of the mountain, the great white mass of the glacier makes for beautiful images and powerful symbolism. The troubled and troubling questions of the child about what happens to people who die in a crevasse culminates in the experiment he practices on stolen chickens shut up alive in the freezer ("you told me my mother didn't suffer, because she had a thick feather coat"). Despite all this, the tone is quite light-hearted, and quite appropriate for viewing with children.

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