The Intouchables see Francois Cluzet play Phillipe, a rich quadriplegic, who, rather unconventionally, hires a young eccentric black man, Driss (Omar Sy), to be his carer. The two form a strong bond despite their very different backgrounds…
Nine weeks after its release in France The Intouchables became the second highest grossing film in France’s history. There is a reason for this success; Oliver Nakache and Eric Toledano’s film is a classic heart warmer that teases the emotions. It takes the odd couple formula and injects it with a pitch black humour that gives the genre a much needed freshness. It avoids the typical clichés that come with this kind of feel good drama, largely in part to the writing of the directors who create truly believable characters.
This realism of course owes itself to the true life story it is based on, but the filmmakers have made many changes to the real life people that inspired the story, imbuing them with a great cinematic quality. The real triumph here, however, is the introduction of Omar Sy to Western audiences. Sy plays his role with such energy and charisma it is hard to take your eyes off him. The chemistry between the two leads (Cluzet, too, is on fine form), their breaking of barriers and hilarious honesty towards one another, makes this such enjoyable viewing.
If there is one problem with the film, it is perhaps that it overcomplicates its story, sub-plots of spoilt daughters and gang-enticed brothers are given so little screen time that we struggle to care about them and would benefit from cutting one, if not both, out of the story completely.