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!
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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 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.
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.
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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.
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.