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Paying Tribute to The Epic French Biopic The Intouchables Movie

It has been like what, six years now, since the epic movie The Intouchables movie hit the theatres, right? I think a movie like this needs to be celebrated again and again no matter what year it is. And the music, ah! The music still resounds in my head all day. I am so much in love with it that Ludovico Einaudi‘s Una Mattina now sits in my playlist. It is probably one of the best piano originals you will ever come across. It is hard not to find a story in its notes, and it is such a beautiful one that it might bring tears to your eyes. True story!

Don’t believe me? You can check it out here:

The Direction of The Intouchables Movie

The direction of The Intouchables movie is the first thing you will pay attention to because it’s just brilliantly done. Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano do a fabulous job with it. Right from the opening scene of the movie where you see Driss (Omar Sy) driving a Maserati with Philippe (Francois Cluzet) in the shotgun to the point where we see Driss doing something really good for Philippe it is all magnificently packed. The prologue scene literally justifies the moniker as Driss waves past the cops intact using Philippe as a leverage. He is even escorted to the hospital as he makes them believe that it was an emergency speeding.

Francois Cluzet just looks adorable when you see him smile and laugh like that and Driss gives him reasons aplenty. The latter’s acting is so raw and natural that you don’t feel like you are watching a movie rather standing next to some real characters.  Not to mention the depth of Francois comportment. Unworldly!

Humour in the movie flows in an unrestrained manner, effortlessly through Omar Sy’s mouth. He makes you laugh at odd junctures when you are not ready and you end up guffawing like a mad man.

The Paraplegic Angle

There’s a certain sense of sobriety that comes naturally when you are dealing with a handicap. That’s what Philippe is, and you know there would be some gravitas lurking around the corner owing to the subject it deals with.

I feel nothing but suffer anyway.

At times you discover the gloomy bits too, but Driss has this superpower to take it all away, and you see Philippe beaming up once again in no time. It is all because of the presence of a guy like Driss. A life of a paraplegic deserves someone like him. Real unchecked fun could do what any medicine might fail to do – to make you happy! That’s what Driss is like, a medicine that happens to Philippe to set things right in his otherwise dull life.

the intouchables movie still

The oddity of the pairing is the one thing that makes The Intouchables movie really interesting to watch. While Philippe is an insanely affluent bloke, Driss is just the opposite, from the projects. The grandeur can never be felt unless you show it via the eyes of the poor. You could see real appreciation there, and the unfettered joy that follows is satisfying to watch. Driss seeping into the life of Philippe paints a smile on your face, and it’s all because of the fact that it becomes relatable quite quickly.

Psyche of the Characters

The take on two different people from two different backgrounds and upbringing make for an interesting conversation.

Philippe: Why are people interested in art?
Driss: It’s all business, I guess.
Philippe: It’s the trace of our passage on this earth.

While Philippe’s obsession with art and poetry is evident at a lot of points, you can see and understand why Driss is so averse to them. He exhibits a shallow behaviour mostly, clearly he isn’t as deep as Philippe. However, what he carries is a good heart, and there isn’t a point in the entire movie where he has stopped helping Philippe out in one way or the other.

The movie also tries to make a mockery of what art has become today. With Driss calling it a nosebleed and painting his own painting through randomly brushing one out, and then Philippe actually managing to sell it for a huge sum, this gets proven too. It is a laughable satire that explicitly pokes a finger at those who have become unsettling prigs.

Elevating Life

All the things that Philippe thinks has ended springs up to life with the presence of Driss in his world. There’s a friend in him he sees, a companion he wishes to share his joy with and it’s well rewarded.

I was raised to think we pissed on the world.

It is only natural of you to share what you love with your friend. With Philippe trying to orchestrate some of the best compositions in the world for Driss to witness is probably how you would try to treat a friend too. Driss returns the favour by dancing to his own beat, and making his birthday a blast to cherish.

The Intouchables movie also delves into despondency for a while wherein circumstances compel them to part ways. You can’t feel sorry enough for Philippe then, as he seems to be giving up on living. There is no replacing a true friend and it becomes evident with the setback he faces in his life. And then when Driss returns it’s extreme ecstasy at its best. The story meets the prologue in a theatrical fashion and you feel that insane contentment melt in your heart.

Wish to rekindle the spark, you can buy the movie from here:

The Climax

By the time we reach the end, Driss does something really nice for Philippe. He sets him up with a girl Philippe had been writing letters, nay, epistles to. It is that hidden girl like that painting Philippe often stares at wondering how would she appear to be if she finally turned. That painting is a reflection of the girl he writes to, whom he has never seen.

I imagine her standing up, turning around and I discover her face at last.

The sole climax of The Intouchables movie is the set up wherein Driss arranges a date with the girl without telling Philippe anything about it. When you read Philippe in those final moments you understand that it might as well be the nicest thing that anyone had ever done for him in his entire life. That’s intensely satisfying to watch. The sheer joy on his face, brings joy to your face too.

the intouchables movie still of omar sy and francois cluzet

Driss and Philippe are like those people who fill in on each other’s lives with their mere presence. While there were things that Driss could never afford or even dream about doing, like paragliding which he comes to truly enjoy too, there were plenty of little joys of life that Philippe was missing on. With the presence of Driss in his life, he comes out of his uptight avatar and becomes what he might have at some point secretly craved for.

The music, I will once again say, is absolutely remarkable. Apart from Uno Mattina, there is another piece called “Fly” by Ludovico Einaudi that sounds ravishing too. You are going to fall in love with it instantly.

Go watch this movie if you haven’t still, or if you have, put it on your rewatch list. This movie deserves countless times.

Inferno Movie Review (2016) | Robert Langdon Burns in Inferno’s Mediocrity

Skipping The Lost Symbol altogether Ron Howard was asked to do the Inferno movie instead. Unfortunately, Ron’s Robert Langdon franchise isn’t really doing so great when you take into account the colossal success of Dan Brown’s books. Do you wonder – is it because of Ron Howard’s direction? Or whether is it because it takes away almost everything from a book when a director is trying to give us a gist through his frames. The latter, right?

Well that’s an enclave we cannot help moving towards, given the limited time frame allotted to directors. But then of course there are things that we could definitely furbish so that the end result doesn’t look all impoverished in sheer adequacy at least.

INFERNO MOVIE PLOT

Inferno finds Tom Hanks reprise his role as the renowned professor Robert Langdon yet again. This time however he is shaken and messed up by what looks like a probable head injury. He wakes up in a hospital with Dr. Sienna Brooks played by Felicity Jones tending to him. Soon bullets ensue coming from a stout Vayentha. What follows is a quest to figure out what, who and why someone had him drugged whilst trying to decode Dante’s morphed map of hell that he found in a Faraday pointer in his belongings.

still of Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones in Inferno movie

The attempt is then to foil a deadly plan of mass killing that Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), a billionaire debatable visionary has hidden in an unknown place. Inferno movie retains a great culminating point (which was terribly shown) which basically helps it to fight the franchise’s redundancy. But alas! It’s not enough!

DOZENS OF ISSUES (SPOILERS AHEAD)

The beauty of a Dan Brown novel lies in the fact that you are constantly decrypting codes alongside protagonists. That’s where the thrill lies. Figuring everything out by yourself, that makes you feel kind of intelligible. Au contraire, a movie however gambols on leaving you with a distasteful serum. You are trying to figure out something, but you realize the actor has already figured it out. That’s where the blame to ‘movie editing’ should really flare toward.

Glimpses that Robert Langdon see of Inferno, though abounding with theatrics vex you too much with their flickering lights. It doesn’t let you garb frames in a proper focus. Sometimes you can’t help but wonder where did Howard’s tranquility go?

Then the worst one is how Ron Howard decides to mess with the story. We find Elizabeth Sinskey portrayed by Sidse Babett Knudsen as Robert Langdon’s former love interest. In an attempt to slow down a bit, Ron keeps stretching their absent chemistry beyond limit. It is almost as if he rushed in towards the ending just to reach a dead end. That’s where the movie actually slows down a bit, and lets you swallow focus. But really! We could have lived without that cheap twist Ron.

Even though the betrayal and it’s follow up was brilliantly shot, Ron Howard went as far as to change the ending. According to Ron, Sienna ends up becoming the ‘immature’ girl in the Inferno movie, which wasn’t really the case.

CONTRASTING ACTORS

One of those actors who seemed to be acting extraordinarily well for a highly paced movie was Irrfan Khan. His flair for dialogues as he broods for a while before delivering his lines brings along all the experience he has garnered over the years as an actor. His portrayal of Harry Sims The Provost though limited was beautifully carved.

still of irrfan khan as Harry Sims The Provost in inferno movie

Then there was the worst one too. Christoph Bouchard, portrayed by Omar Sy ladies and gentleman! even though he is a good actor, he seems a tad out of place. As if it wasn’t supposed to be his timeline at all. There is no subtlety when he assigns his agents to follow up a feigned lead, and then goes to contact Langdon and Brooks.

So now you know Dan Brown books are way better than the movies, you can order the illustrative Inferno book from here:

THE FINAL VERDICT

As the old maxim goes, “Read the book!”, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to watch Robert Langdon movies. All that Dan Brown knowledge that slithers on to cryptic leaflets go poof, if you choose to watch its movie instead. Ron Howard has never really done Dan’s books justice, like ever. It is time someone else gets into his shoes, or even better try to helm a slow paced pensive thrilling TV series. Now that would do him justice!

You can check out the Inferno movie trailer here: