¨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.