For those who think that French cinema is filled with nothing but pretentious bores, I would suggest that they take a look at this particular effort. Although officially based on a true story, it doesn't take long to realize that a lot of liberties were taken to make the movie more appealing and commercial. Sometimes these changes, such as making the protagonist incredibly naïve about what he will be facing, are a little lame and annoying. Fortunately, most of the movie does work pretty well. The incidents of comedy are low key but charming. Practically every character with a substantial part is very likable, especially the central character, who you will root for every step of the way. The movie also looks very nice, with expert cinematography and actual filming in Nepal. All this ends up making the movie a sweet surprise, one that you'll remember for a long time afterwards. And it will probably have you looking for more examples of French populist cinema. The movie is on Netflix, so catch it there.
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Get to know the fractured films of Yorgos Lanthimos, director of Oscar-nominee The Favourite. And join us here for the IMDb LIVE at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, streaming at 7:30 p.m. EST/4:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Feb. 24.