The Intouchables reminds you how great movies can make you feel leaving the theater. This movie reminded me of my late grandmother, Henrietta Bulus. She loved French cinema films because they presented you with simple stories that taught you so many subtle truths about life and its quiet virtues. French cinema is the opposite of Hollywood blockbusters, and the timing of this film’s release perfectly coincides with the madness of the theater shaking sprints of the big budget superhero alien fighting action adventures that will fill the multiplexes this weekend. This is a simple movie with layers of poignant knowledge.
The Intouchables carries the task of a sweet little vineyard, presenting the touching story of two men from completely different backgrounds that see their paths collide which produces the most unlikely of friendships.
The film thrives off the chemistry and ballet like dialogue between French stars Cluzet and Sy. The screen is lit up with the white hot wit of Driss and the dry humor of the older Philippe. Driss is a young man from the projects who has no home, no future yet is as fearless as anyone in the world. Francois has all the money, luxury lifestyle and is an accomplished Aristocrat but lacks the ability of the human body below his neck and doesn’t want pity for it. He wants honesty. The two trade ideals and we get the benefit of watching them work.
This is a movie you don’t want to see end because of how much enjoyment is reached in their journey. I knew the drama was coming, but the comedy in this film is unbreakable. Driss kidding Philippe about his limitations and the older man teaching him the secret pleasures of his state of mind are treated with light flair here and never get too serious. The ending is something you don’t see coming.
I credit movies that work so well off basic settings and ambitions. The writing/directing team of Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano make it look easy here, laying out the principles of the story and allowing their actors to run with it. 85 percent of the scenes in this movie see Cluzet and Sy talking, moving, and interacting in isolated settings. We have seen this before, but never done so well and so sublime and effective. Everything works together in The Intouchables to provide a special experience. The dynamite acting of two relatively unknown actors lighting up a wicked script in the most beautiful city in the world is something to seek out this summer.
It’s superb because it executes its plan so well and makes you feel good without a bit of manipulation. I would join the advertising campaign for this movie if it meant more people would see it. The Intouchables is a pleasant escape from the usual summer entertainment that drowns the summer wind. It is true that the more I like a movie or hate a movie, the longer review it will receive. This film just made me talk. Hopefully, it will find you.