The Intouchables (2011) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
643 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
One of the Most Unique and Beautiful Friendships ever Committed to Film
OttoVonB27 November 2011
Do not look at this through the prism of "Foreign Films". You'd be wasting your time and miss something far too important.

Hollywood does scale like nobody else, leaving the competition gasping in its wake. France does intimacy, and brutality. Nothing is sacred. And rather than try to revive the New Wave or emulate Hollywood like most widely seen French films of late, "Intouchables" harnesses its core strengths - ease with intimacy, willingness to ridicule anything and brutal honesty - and delivers one of the funniest, most honest and touching films I have ever seen.

Sy is a failed robber, going through the motions and playing the stereotypical jobless émigré. Cluzet is a romantic and melancholy mind trapped in a useless body. The circumstances that bring them together are too funny to spoil here, but meet they do, and an awkward relationship quickly blossoms as they bring out the best in each other.

The film's simplicity is delightfully misleading: the script is a masterpiece of comedy writing, and however good the rest of the cast is, the central duo is magical. Sy's comic timing will have you in stitches, but it is his honesty and vulnerability that make you fall in love with the character. Cluzet isn't your typical sad-sack, instead, much of the finest pleasures in the film consist in watching him use his keen mind to mess with the world around him (a subplot about an abstract painting really takes the biscuit, you'll know it when you see it).

This is one of the most unique, beautiful and honest friendships ever committed to film. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry... a delightful celebration of everything in life that makes it worthwhile.
925 out of 987 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Touché ...
ElMaruecan8217 January 2012
In less than two months, "Untouchable" became the second most successful French film by number of spectators, such an event by itself that people went then to see it, not because they thought it was good but to see what was so good in it: that's the virtual circle of success.

My biggest disappointment in 2011 was with "The Tree of Life", a movie I sincerely wanted to love but couldn't, and I left the theater before it ended with a bitter taste of frustration. Proportionally, my greatest positive surprise came with "Untouchable" because it was the opposite expectation: I was sure I would dislike it, figuring the movie manipulated viewers through the overused device of the improbable friendship. Why such preconceived negativity? Well, when a young black guy from French suburbs, darkly depicted in Mathieu Kassovitz 'Hate' and infamous for its occasional riots, befriends a rich quadriplegic, I immediately think of 'good feelings', 'mainstream populism' … unaware that I apply to myself a cynical judgment that can undermine my very way to enjoy not just this film, but any film. After all, why getting ready for hatred when it's so relieving to give the benefit of the doubt and get ready for appreciation? Especially since more than 15 millions of French people, from different ages and backgrounds liked it.

So, I saw it … and loved it.

The story of "Untouchable" is the kind of unintentional masterpiece that only movies can provide every once in a while, it has no other pretension than to depict a magnificent and inspiring friendship story starting as a simple job. A young man with a Senegalese background, Omar Sy as Driss, only needs a signature to prove that he attended an interview for a live-in carer job. For some strange reason, Paul, the rich man, played by a wonderful François Cluzet, gives him the job, with a one-month trial period. The reason of this choice is smoothly handled by the script: the film starts with all the job applicants, every one of them unnaturally posing and getting mixed in prepared answers. Then, Driss casually enters, without waiting for his turn or knocking on the door, he's got enough problems to deal with, unemployment, an experience in jail, being a pariah for society, and undesirable even in his own family, especially her adoptive aunt. Driss' attitude pleases Paul, because after his paragliding accident, he can't feel his body from neck to toes, and needs caring almost 24 hours per days and 7 days per week, so he really doesn't have time for bullshit either.

And this is a remarkable aspect in the script written by the two directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache: it doesn't waste time cementing the friendship, the two leads rapidly get fond of each other, a feeling illustrated in the poster with both posing with natural smiles. The film shows Omar's struggle to learn how 'needy' Paul is, which provides some priceless comedic moments, but "Untouchable" goes immediately to the core, an eye-opening message about the life endured by a handicapped person, making all the wealth in the world pointless and the richness of heart and mind, priceless. Through Driss and Paul's interaction, the film explores the real needs of people in life, respect and understanding, acceptance and love. Maybe if it was handled by other directors, it would have been predictable but in "Untouchable", the complicity between the two heroes feels absolutely real. There's one scene when Driss shave the bushy beard of Paul,… well, I won't spoil it for you, but the part was a clever mix of realism and comedy because anyone would have done what Driss did at one moment, and that's the secret of the film: it feels real.

Some movies can work with a good story but they need good performances, in "Untouchable", it's almost impossible to determine who carried the film, both Cluzet and Sy were great. And I don't get the complaints: why they didn't respect the original story where the carer was an Arab, or how they 'sugarcoated' the handicap? I even heard that in America, they were accusing the film of racism because Driss was portrayed as a sort of (I quote) 'helper monkey'? Seriously, this is getting old …The way handicap is approached never flirts with an exaggerated pathos, nor the opposite, which is the most intelligent achievement. There's a sort of heart's intelligence in the way Omar teases Cluzet with his own handicap, and the film provides the extraordinary message that pleasure and thrills have unlimited media, whether they come from pot, an ear-massage or even paragliding.

Many of Paul's friends criticizes the presence of Driss in Paul's life, but Paul doesn't care: Omar is a man full of life, big, tall and strong, and when he uses violence to teach a man the respect of a parking sign, Paul admits this is the right method. Both are in the same wavelength. I wondered if the title "Untouchable" referred to the lowest caste in India, echoing the two men's conditions, both outcasts physically and socially, but I guess, their relationship evolves into a friendship precisely because they're both strong-minded, and together, they become even stronger, until getting untouchables ... in the noblest meaning of the word.

There are real people in "Untouchable", nothing works as plot devices even if some situations are so cinematically appealing: Omar inviting everybody to dance during Paul's birthday, his learning of the aristocratic world, the art of abstract painting, and the way he breaks the conventions with an unconventional charisma reaches a level of energetic comedy that reminds of the greatest days of Eddie Murphy, with Cluzet as a perfect straight-man not deprived from a sense of humor. "Untouchable" is simply an inspiring story of friendship with whatever defines this beautiful virtue.

And yes, it's one of the best French films ever, and certainly one of the best of 2011.
350 out of 394 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A magnificent, sensitive movie
jvdesuit111 December 2011
It's not because I'm French that I appreciated this movie which I've seen twice. Too give the really infamous appreciation of the reader from Toronto to the French public, qualifying us of a segregationist country is difficult to gulp especially coming from north America which has not a very glorious past on the matter even in recent years. Perhaps the commentator should see the movie "The help" to refresh his memory... But what I'd like to say here apart of praising the fabulous interpretation of both leading actors is to remind that this is a true story, it did not come out from the directors and scriptwriter heads.

Philippe Pozzo Di Borgo born in 51, got a dramatic para-glider accident in the French Alps in 1993 being totally deprived of movements from the base of his neck to the tip of his feet. 3 Years later his wife died and he was helped out of his depression by Abdel Sellou his life-aid assistant. He published his terrible story in 2001 under the title "the second breath" (in French "Le second soufflé"). The directors have had the compliments of Di Borgo for the way they adapted his story. If in any way this was biased he would never had accepted the film to be left in that state. The Di Borgo family is a very old and wealthy family whose origins goes far back in the history of France, and their residence in Paris is considered to be one the jewels of the capital at the same level as The Hotel de Sully in Paris. What is shown in the film is exactly what happens everywhere in the world as far as handicapped are concerned: tendency to overwhelm them with pity which is more diminishing them as if their fate is not enough for them to swallow every minute or second each day. The way the racial problem is viewed is properly demonstrated. The police behaves in different ways depending of the color of your skin or your country's origin and sorry to say North America is a very good example of this so perhaps is not a proper judge on this matter.The authors had the courage to state this straightforwardly. The film shows on the contrary how a man with a very limited education at the beginning, a former convict, is capable progressively to change his views, and find in himself at the same time the good Samaritan aspects and help with humor and punch, his handicapped boss to find a new belief in his shattered life at 42! At the same time the boss demonstrates an open-mindedness which was not obvious to get not only because of his handicap but because of his origins and his wealth at first. Let's not illusion ourselves on the matter, everywhere in the world few wealthy people would accept to have as an aid an ex convict whichever color his skin should be! It's a fantastic lesson of tolerance, and friendship. For just those reason this movie would deserve an Oscar or Golden Globe awards.

09/07/2013 : I've just seen that under "Crazy credits" is mentioned that 5% of the revenues of the film will go to an institutions caring for disabled persons. I just don't see what's crazy about that! I find this kind of remark particularly shocking and insulting both for the producers and the actors especially in this case where the story told is a true one.I suggest the administrator to delete that remark or change its qualification.
209 out of 265 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Just excellent
n-buenning10 January 2012
I am now trying to find words to describe this movie for an hour. I couldn't.

You've seen it, or you haven't. It's monumental and outrageously good.

The cast is brilliant. The jokes lovely. The story and the idea behind the movie is beautiful. Especially when you've worked/lived with handicapped people. The music is such a perfect choice, it is unbelievable.

I hope this movie makes a plenty of people think about how good their life is and how bad it could have been.

Bottom line: Oscar-worthy. Period.
716 out of 786 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A Film of True Humanity : Comedy in the Face of Hardship
bakor24-128 December 2011
It has been 9 weeks now since Intoucblaes has come to the movie theaters. I did not give it much thought at first, but the universal acclaim I have heard convinced me to go see it. I don't over-stating the universality of the acclaim, people of various races, classes, colors & countries told me it was a must see. I had no expectations, and I was floored.

Intouchables, directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, starring Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy is possibly the best French movie of the year. This is not because of a lack of worthy contenders, but truly because Intouchables is that profound. It touches on themes of presumptions, social class difference, health, and as naïve as it may sound, the universality of humanity.

The story is not as important as is the relationship that is displayed between the two protagonists. Philippe (played by Cluzet) a rich aristocrat that loves adrenaline rushes finds himself a paraplegic after a paragliding incident. Driss (played by Sy) is, in appearance a typical hoodlum from the ghetto. The two are brought together and wonders happen.

The audience then sees how the men affect one another as they engage in a truly honest relationship. Driss is charismatic, lighthearted and funny, helping make Philippe's life enjoyable again. In the process the traditionally cold French aristocracy around Philippe warms up and lightens. He is like a hot knife through cold butter.

Again, it is not so much the story that is important as is the social commentary. The commentary is not judgmental and is very subtle, revealed only in the contrasts the director chose in the story and its contexts. His method reminded me of a sort of Zen approach to comedy. One example you can catch from the trailer alone is the contrast between the able bodied black Driss and t the crippled white man, etc.

The audience is also given wonderful sights of Paris and France as we go through the Pyrenees, Cabourg and the various streets of Paris.

On paper the review does not make the movie justice. It is hilarious in a way that is true, honest and by which anyone can relate to. Most importantly it is revealing and comforting in its reminder of the essential in life : love. It's approach is simple, pure and honest and that makes it worthy of the title of "best movie of the year".

I cannot say more; the film must be experienced. My friends tried, they failed, so I trusted them and I saw it. It floored me. Go and be floored.

PS - I heard American studios have purchased the rights for the film. They will need a brilliant director, screenwriters and perfect actors to make the original justice in the way "The Departed" did for "Infernal Affairs".
196 out of 234 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Beautiful and Uplifting Story of Friendship
claudio_carvalho10 January 2013
In Paris, the aristocratic and intellectual Philippe (François Cluzet) is a quadriplegic millionaire that is interviewing candidates for the position of his caretaker with his red-haired secretary Magalie (Audrey Fleurot). Out of the blue, the rude African Driss (Omar Sy) cuts the line of candidates and brings a document from the Social Security and asks to Phillipe to sign it to prove that he is seeking a job position to receive his unemployment insurance.

Philippe challenges Driss and offers a period of adaptation of one week to him to gain experience helping him. Then Driss would decide whether he would like to stay with him or not. Driss accepts the bet and moves to the mansion, changing the boring life of Phillipe and his employees. "Intouchables" is a beautiful and uplifting story of friendship based on a true story. My daughter had watched this movie a couple of months ago when she was traveling on vacation and recommended it a lot to me and yesterday I saw it on DVD.

The screenplay is excellent and the directors and writers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano have a magnificent work. This theme in the hands of a weak director could transform the uplifting story into a corny or melodramatic movie. But they succeeded making a funny and touching comedy.

The cast is also fantastic, and the chemistry between François Cluzet and Omar Sy is amazing. Anne Le Ny is also wonderful and Audrey Fleurot is a very beautiful woman and excellent actress in her ambiguous role luring Driss. In the end, I went to bed late but feeling good. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Intocáveis ("Untouchables")
26 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Wonderful, funny and touching
jo_steins20 November 2011
Well, I've just got out of the theater and i must say that all the reviews are right. this is an amazing film! The actors are simply the best, Omar is not only a great comic but also a great actor.

The filming has a certain touch that brings to mind "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" in the way the director was able to capture not only the suffering of Phillip but also the joy.

Not wanting to spoil the film for others, i highly recommend seeing this in the theaters and with a loved one.

It is also a good film for teenagers as it holds a few wonderful life lessons.

Enjoy.
209 out of 249 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Probably the best French film for years
fionadliliane-cross14 November 2011
Being french and a film maker myself, I have high standards for ratings, and this one definitely deserves in 10/10. I've not seen a film showing our world with such humour in a long time. The jokes are absurd and possibly, with a touch of British humour to them. The directing is beautiful, the acting is incredible, the shots are somehow truthful, if I can say that about a shot. It may be Omar Sy's first time in a leading role, for a major production, but he really delivered, and not just in the funny parts, the delivery of emotions was just spotless. Francois Cluzet was also just as brilliant, as he usually is. I will be recommending this film to everyone, and seriously hoping it will be released in the UK soon enough for me to see it again! Only negative aspect... the Americans are thinking of doing a remake... why do they always have to? I mean would you reconsider remaking the "Joconde" or the Sixtine Chapel to American standards? Film is an art like any other, it travels the world as it is... no need for remakes...
575 out of 660 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
a touching yet funny French comedy
vincent_spano19 October 2011
I have seen this movie tonight at a preview session as the official french national release is set on 2011, November 2nd. Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakashe, accompanied by the lead actor Omar Sy were meeting the audience and cheerfully answering questions.

The movie is very well written. Although opening on a flash-forward, it is fairly classic comedy about the meeting of two opposite people who were very unlikely to meet. The first one is a paraplegic white middle aged very rich and lonely man, the other one is a young black, poor, unemployed, coming from poor suburbs and a very large family.

What makes the quality of the film, beside the humour present in every scene in which Omar Sy appears (actually most of the film), is the emotion you can feel, through increasingly attaching characters.

The story is based upon a true story, and real characters.

If you want to watch and enjoyable comedy, with very touching moments, this is a must go.

There are interesting insights about arts as well (paintings, classical music, and funk music). What is art? What is its use?
155 out of 199 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
One of the best movies ever seen in 50 yrs
jessie-393 June 2012
This is one of the best movies we have ever seen. My wife and I see 3 movies a week on average over The past 40 years. Saying it is one of the best is quite a statement. This French movie with sub titles is simply Spectacular. The storyline involves a man crippled in An accident, his wife has passed away and he cannot Find adequate help which he requires 24/7. Until he meets the Most unlikely of people to care for him. The acting by Omar Sy & Mr. Cluzet Is the very best. The movie has everything you want in a Movie. It has compassion and is spectacularly Funny. Run to see this movie. The two prime Actors must be recognized for a whole host Of awards. Wow!
35 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Best friends
kosmasp3 April 2012
A comedy like that is tough to master. Balancing the funny and the dramatic stuff and still keep enough character development inside. And while I wouldn't say that both characters really redeem themselves (wholly), it gives them nice touches. Touches that include quite a lot of non-PC behavior (be alert and do not watch, if you are sensible to that sort of thing).

It is a french comedy with heart. And it was a sleeper hit in Germany. Word of mouth made this a big success. A bit of credit has to go to the people who dubbed it I guess (I watched the original version with subtitles), because they must have done a phenomenal job. It is not perfect, but that fact makes it even weirder and more adorable
17 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
A Beautiful Movie..Masterpiece..
RoshanJG27 March 2012
Intouchables is a true story of Philippe ,a rich aristocrat who is paralyzed from neck down and Driss ,an unemployed man coming from a poverty stricken family..

Francois & Omar as the lead cast give a superb performance .. The charismatic Omar (Driss) is just amazing..His very presence on screen is powerful as he juggles between rib-tickling comedy and some serious drama...Francois (Philippe) is on par with Omar...He gives a very controlled performance and is able to hold strong against Omar's contrasting character.Considering,Francois had to act as a quadriplegic, he has done an amazing job..His expressions itself substitute any needs of dialogues.. The bond the two develop is pure gem.

Story is smooth and never drags..It could have been an intense drama movie,but the directors usage of comedy made it stand out from other similar stories..Direction is sharp & the movie doesn't rely on any over the top scenes..

The music is beautifully blended into the movie and it enhances the effectiveness of many scenes...

The Intouchables can be described by one word..Beautiful...The movie is a must watch for all..

Acting- 5/5 Story- 5/5 Direction- 5/5 Comedy- 5/5 Drama- 5/5
44 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
This is how a genre movie should be done!
Boba_Fett113831 May 2012
This movie so easily could had become a forced and melodramatic one but luckily it's one that got made with lots of tact and skill, making this one fine drama, with a comical touch to it as well.

Guess that I really like contrasts in movies. The two main characters are complete opposites of each other, in about every way imaginable. Driss is poor, Philippe is rich. Driss is vibrant, Philippe is a quadriplegic. Driss is black, Philippe is white, etcetera. They are a complete mismatch on paper but yet they become best friends, which forms the central point of this movie and works out so well because it gets made believable.

They don't just become good friends, they also learn from each other and I believe that they also become better persons because of that. This is were the movie its warmth and soul comes from, in my opinion.

It doesn't ever dwell on it that Philippe is bound to a wheelchair and can only move his head, or that Driss is poor and also has a poor relationship with this family. If anything, this movie is a celebration of life, rather than than a movie that will bring you down. The effect of these sort of movies often is that it actually strengthens its drama because you feel far more involved with it, also since the movie doesn't shoves its drama down your throat constantly.

There are some small side-plots in the movie but the good news about them is that they don't distract from the main theme and storyline of the movie and the movie never puts its emphasis too much on any of the side-plots or its secondary characters. It keeps a great and effective focus on its main subject, throughout pretty much the entire film.

It's a great movie, in every way. It has a good look to it, that isn't cheap or rushed. It's a respectful and professionally made movie, which all paid off for it.

Also the acting is just great. Everybody seems perfectly cast in their roles and know how to handle their characters and manage to fit within the style and tone of the overall movie. Of course François Cluzet and Omar Sy carry most of the movie and they did a more than great job with this.

It's just a movie I can't say anything bad or negative about. It's well made and effective, which makes this one of the better genre movies out there!

9/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
15 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A perfect 10!!!!!
rightwingisevil2 April 2012
wow, what a wonderful movie!! full of love, friendship and laughs. just like i always said, when a french movie is good, it's not just good, it's great! and this movie simply explains it. no wonder this movie would have won some international awards, it really deserved it. with these two great actors of two generation, the performances of both is just a perfect casting job. this is an absolutely feeling-good movie, warm up your heart without any intention. in this movie, you will see how it's like day and night that the extreme poverty of the immigrant families and the extreme prosperity of the french rich people. by contrast, this movie used it to prove that oil and water could have mixed together and evolved into a very heartfelt social structure.

i enjoyed it 100%.
26 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Very nice acting.
planktonrules17 March 2013
According to IMDb, "The Intouchables" set all sorts of box office records--the second most successful French film in history in France as well as the number one film for 2012 in Germany. So, because of this very impressive pedigree I was perhaps expecting a little more. Now this is NOT to say it's a bad film--it's wonderful. It just didn't seem quite THAT wonderful. But it IS well worth seeing.

As for the plot, this movie is a true-life account of a quadriplegic man (François Cluzet) in search of a new aide. However, all the folks who apply for the job seem the same--boring and sterile. On an odd lark, he chooses an unqualified man who doesn't seem interested in the job at all (Omar Sy). And, oddly, they form a friendship that seems to reinforce the old adage that opposites attract.

While the plot is amazingly thin and seems to be missing chunks of the story, the film is masterful in several ways. The acting (particularly by Sy) is just terrific. But even more terrific is the artistry of the film itself. It takes a somewhat ordinary story and injects it with class--including some wonderful cinematography and one of the nicest soundtracks I have ever heard. It is a lovely film.
18 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Excellent movie
bipbip222225 November 2011
This movie surprised us. We checked on IMDb and saw 8/10 for a french movie, without hesitation we went to the movie theatre to watch the movie.

The subject is hard but the movie is really funny. In a few seconds you are fully projected within the film from the beginning to the end. There is no special effet but the actors are playing very well and the movie is based on a real story.

If you are skeptical for French movie don't be for this one ... it is a must see movie.

Enjoy the movie.
398 out of 497 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
great performances
temudjin827 January 2012
Just seen last night, amazing movie, great performances from actors, particularly from Omar, and Cluzet is great as usual. Photography of images are great, supported by good choice of locations supporting actors are all good and natural so doing a great job to give a great solid base to the story. RIch of emotions on a simple story where ordinary people become extraordinary. Good representation of social differences in France without being too heavy on it. Simple, beautiful, efficient, like a good French cuisine, making a great dish full of tastes magically mixed :) Most to be watched and even more emotional when you know its based on true story !
183 out of 224 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
amazing feel-good movie
yris200218 March 2012
It's quite rare to find and have the pleasure to enjoy a genuine movie, blending comedy and drama with such naturalness: that's why "Intouchables" is undoubtedly a rare authentic picture and the fact that the story is inspired by a true one helped make the movie more involving. Funny and touching at the same time, the picture evolves with simplicity but strong pathos, with the merit of avoiding every pathetic or melodramatic attitude: there's brutal honesty in representing the real condition of Philippe, as well as Driss's initial uncompassionate attitude. There are touching moments, there are true amusing moments, both accompanied by a forceful soundtrack. Acting proves brilliant, to say the least, and the pairing between Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy sparkles and captures the viewer's attention. I was swept away by Dryss's genuine smile as well as by Philippe's melancholic eyes, and the moments when they are together filled me with an authentic feeling-good sentiment. Definitely, a must-see picture.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Best movie I've seen in a long time...
schwoni21 February 2012
I CANNOT BELIEVE that "Bridesmaids" is nominated for an Oscar, just like Brad Pitt for his completely boring and not convincing part in "Moneyball", when in 2011 such a great movie was made!!! Did the Academy even see this?

It's a shame and in my opinion proves that the "Academy Awards" are just ridiculous and have nothing to do with good film and acting.

Francois Cluzet's performance is outstanding, as is Omar Sy and the story is just lovely and touching in a wonderful non-Hollywood way. (REMAKE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?)

Spread the word and enjoy this beautiful movie!!!
81 out of 101 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A toast to the spirit of Living .. A must watch film for all
rangdetumpy20 July 2012
This is the story of friendship between a quadriplegic (Phillipe) and his black attendant (Driss). At the surface one has the impression that the film will be a tearjerker with oodles of sentimental scenes coming one after another. Being from India and having witnessed such films of dying person or disability which are meant to titillate the sentiment of the weak to my mind I perceived one that of a contrived, loud, excessively melodramatic "Gujarish" which was also about a quadriplegic person. But as I started watching it how I wished to see such a film being made in India. The movie is a lesson to live life with full vigour amidst adversities. The film starts with two persons in car with one in the wheel driving it crazily through the busy roads of France when they are stopped by the police. Driss challenges Philippe that the policemen wouldn't arrest him but on the contrary would escort them. Thus they put a bet of 200Euros.Driss faked a drama about how he was taking quadriplegic Philippe to hospital for emergency and thus he had no option but to opt for rash driving. They succeeded in creating guilt amongst the policemen thus assuring them to escort Phillipe's car. As they start the car again there is an immediate smile in my face that this will be film full of life. From there the movie goes back to where the hiring process is on for a caretaker. Driss, an outlaw leaving in the black community of suburbs took the job. Unlike the other caretakers Philippe become connected to Driss easily because of the Driss's lack of sympathy towards him. In fact the film works at this level which makes us feel that people with certain problem needs affection rather than sympathy. Driss is an outlaw, rude and brutally honest and somehow there seem to be a connection with Phillipe who is a rich loner losing his lower half to an accident. The zeal for life is still there but the support is missing. From having food to shower to everything he needs someone else's "hands" not out of sympathy but out of compassion and he found it in Driss. Driss on the other hand learns the art of living from Phil's quadriplegic existence. He learns to respect life, family and more than that Himself. He gains confidence in life and tries to induce that to Phillipe by trying to re-marry him to his lady love. The climax is one of the best I have seen in recent times. It is honest, sweet, touching yet there is no forced melodrama. The simplicity brings down tears of happiness as we learn the real characters that inspired the reel version are living a happy contended life overcoming their individual short comings at physical as well as psychological level. There have been several films on friendship between a black and white but there is nothing contrived in the plot. Director duo Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano's intention is as pure as the friendship portrayed.Their success lies in their usage of subtle humour to tell this touching story.The wide angle of camera reflects a contentment which the protagonist is having with his surroundings. The gradual bonding has been kept subtle with small sequences like Driss taking Phillipe to open air around 3am and then offering cigarette. These are the small things which help in taking the bigger step. The usage of light has been apt as the shade gradually shifts towards brighter shade. Dorian's editing gels with the character transformations. The long cuts in the initial reels changed to short cuts reflecting the happiness and youthful exuberance within. Ludovico's soft background score suits the mood of the film. The occasional use of orchestra uplifts the mood after prolonged calmness which fits Phillipe's characterization. François Cluzet and Omar Sy as Phillipe and Driss respectively are flawless. Veteran actor Cluzet fits in perfectly as Phillipe and brings out the hopelessness yet the desire to live with perfect conviction. The clumsiness of a quadriplegic comes from his mannerism. And then there is the young talent Sy whose comic timings are more than perfect. His range of expression helps in showing the change in the curve of his character as he softens down on his basic mannerisms. His initial mockery to the aristocratic existence, to his understanding of their behaviour and thus a change in his own expressions are put across with perfection. "Intouchables" celebrates life and the reason it works is one can identify with the basic emotion. Someway we all are saddled in our existence fighting all odds and struggling to overcome adversities of life. This film brings in hope; it throws light to the darkness in our existence. It teaches us to love through tales of true friendship, a virtue that is losing its value in this materialistic existence. It tells us to believe in our strength and never lose hope which we tend to even in minor setbacks. Without trying to sympathise on bygones the film subtly teaches to look forward and use every precious moment of our life to be happy. The movie is a must watch for everyone who can breathe.

P.S : This year a great tragedy happened in my life for which I was mentally down. But this movie really helped me to have faith in life and all to a certain extend. I really want to thanks the director duo for making this film
20 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
After this film I have to reconsider my other 10/10 ratings
mau-zi6 February 2012
This was for sure one of the Top5 or Top10 movies I've ever seen. The actors, the ambiente, the story ... simply everything was in a perfect combination. This film is for me in a league with films like "The Elephant Man", but for a much wider audience. And as the title say, after this film I really have to consider to reduce my ratings for several films, because it seems a bit unfair to put them on the same level as this film, although I don't have anything to criticize on them at all. All the persons in the film are very authentic played. And both main characters surprised me with a brilliant performance. I would say, that both actors are really what they are playing in the film. If I would see François Cluzet in the street, I would be surprised not seeing him in a wheelchair. The emotions shown in the last sequence of the film are so brilliant.
42 out of 61 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy shine in this French feel good movie
estebangonzalez105 June 2012
¨Sometimes you have to reach into someone else's world to find out what's missing in your own.¨ Intouchables is a remarkable ¨feel good¨ French film mostly about friendship, but there is a little bit of drama and a love story included as well. This film with relatively unknown directors and actors has managed to make some big noise in Europe, and especially in France where it has become the second highest grossing French film of all time. The key to the success of Intouchables relies on the great chemistry and performances from Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy. They are just absolutely great in this film and their friendship felt authentic and real. The movie mixes the drama with the comedy really well and it works better than most films have in the past when combining two different and sometimes opposite characters together. Sy and Cluzet play totally different characters who come from very different backgrounds, and although we've seen this play out in hundreds of films in the past it works really well here thanks to their terrific performance and a great script from the directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. Cluzet has a sort of a Dustin Huffman vibe and he says so much with his expressions without having to say anything at times, while Sy plays a more outgoing character who isn't afraid to speak his mind. This odd pairing reminded me a lot of another film which I really loved, Goodbye Solo which follows a similar premise at times. Intouchables is a feel good movie, but it transcends the term at times and becomes much more. An absolute must see, especially if you've ever had to work or live with a handicapped person.

Philippe (Francois Cluzet) is a very rich quadriplegic who lives in his mansion with several servants and his teenage daughter. He is hiring a live-in carer once again (since most only last a couple of days with him). Driss (Omar Sy) happens to be applying for the job, but actually just wants to get rejected so he can live on welfare without having to work. He's been in prison for the last 6 months and away from home, but Philippe decides to actually hire Driss for the job considering he is someone different who doesn't look at him with empathy and actually treats him like a normal person. Driss and Philippe come from very different backgrounds, but they seem to complement each other very well. Philippe is a millionaire who's interested in art and classical music; while Driss comes from a poor African background, who's interested in pop culture mostly and in bands such as Earth, Wind, and Fire. Driss is really outgoing and becomes really close friends with Philippe. Together they share various stories about their past and end up helping each other solving some present conflicts. There are some other secondary characters whose names I don't even remember because they are not very important to the story, but mostly revolving around other house servants.

Intouchables is actually loosely based on a true story involving a quadriplegic and his Arab carer who ends up befriending him. The directors actually came across a documentary about these two men and decided to film a movie about it. One of the greatest things about the film beside the inspiring story was the casting. Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet were really the perfect match and they had me laughing real hard at times and at the border of tears during others. It is truly an emotional and powerful film, a story that will stick with you long after the film ends, and by the time the credits role you will have a smile on your face. It is a feel good movie, but never feels cursi or anything like that. I was really surprised with Omar Sy and hope he gets many more roles. This is really a great French film, very different from Le Prophet but just as good. I had a really good time watching this movie and recommend it to everyone.

http://estebueno10.blogspot.com
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Marvelous Film with Two Great Performances
Michael_Elliott5 August 2012
The Intouchables (2011)

**** (out of 4)

Terrific comedy-drama from France about Philippe (Francois Cluzet), a rich man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after an accident and Driss (Omar Sy), a man from the ghetto who hasn't had much going on in his life until he gets the job of taking care of the handicapped man. THE INTOUCHABLES has been breaking box office records around the world but I decided to stay away from it because of some rather lukewarm reviews. I'm certainly glad the trailer kept telling me to go see it because no matter what the critics say, this here is a complete winner and it's easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with it. I'm really not sure why so many critics have bashed it for being a "crowd winner" or "too happy" because neither makes much sense. I thought the film was quite remarkable because the pre-credit sequence is just so touching and funny that you can't help but fall in love with these two characters and the journey of their friendship that follows was incredibly touching and best of all is that it felt real. A lot of credit has to go to the two leads who deliver remarkable performances and I'd be willing to bet that you're not going to see better from anyone the rest of the year. If so, more credit to whoever is better. Cluzet and Sy are simply so terrific in their roles that you really do feel as if you're watching real people with real issues. The way to two play off one another is so remarkable to watch that once you've seen it I don't see how you could forget them. Directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano do a remarkable job balancing the comedy with the drama and in the end they really create such a special atmosphere that it's impossible not to get caught up with it. THE INTOUCHABLES is without question one of the best films of the year and hopefully the strong word of mouth from around the world will get more people to check it out.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Excellent
p_imdb-238-92638011 March 2012
This movie is excellent.

Actors are very good and touch you on many levels. It is funny, it is serious and has a story to tell which won't leave you intouché.

First I though this is going to be more or less a cultural film for a selected audience. But this wasn't true at all. This is a film for the broad audience, and I think it can be appreciated by everybody.

I don't know if this film has been dubbed in English, it will certainly lose some of it charisma. If you understand french, then get it in the original voice.

Give it a try, you won't be disappointed. It is a beautiful movie.
15 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Tweaked a Known Formula
view_and_review4 January 2022
"The Intouchables" took a tried and true formula, tweaked it a bit, and made a sensational movie. The idea of "The Odd Couple" has been around for ages. We see it most in buddy cop movies, but it also rears its head in other genres. I, for one, have gotten tired of the idea of polar opposites becoming friends. It's not that I don't appreciate or like the idea, it's just that it has been done so often. The very thought of having to watch two people get to know each other and appreciate their differences makes me roll my eyes. "The Intouchables" takes the idea, guts it, and gives us a gem.

Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy star as Philippe and Driss. Philippe is a wealthy, paralyzed, white Frenchman who is in need of a caretaker. Driss is a poor, somewhat hood, African Frenchman who is just looking for a job. Driss has no passion for healthcare nor is he at all sensitive towards Philippe's condition, he just wants a paycheck. What you don't expect is that Philippe admires this about Driss. Philippe doesn't want a caretaker who feels pity for him, he wants one that treats him like any other able-bodied human being. And I think that's where the movie distinguished itself. Instead of us suffering through a contentious relationship that slowly transformed into something special, they were practically friends from the start, even if they didn't recognize it. Philippe wanted Driss as a caretaker and Driss wasn't going to pass up a good paying job.

Their relationship grows over time from one of employer and employee to friendship. It's a funny movie that seems to hit all the right buttons. Driss is not so hood and criminal as to repulse you while Philippe is not so steeped in self-pity so as to depress you. I think their personalities were perfect for each other and perfect for the big screen.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed