Untouchable (2011)   5/55/55/55/55/5

Omar Sy in Untouchable (2011) (aka: The Intouchables)

Magnifique

Philippe (Francois Cluzet) is a wealthy man which is fortunate because he is also a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair and his wealth means that he can afford to hire a team to look after him from a secretary to a carer. When he finds himself needing to hire a new carer he interviews several, smartly dressed and trained candidates all of which could do the job but also showing up to be interviewed is Driss (Omar Sy). Driss isn't trained; he lives in the ghetto, steals and hustles and in truth only showed up for the interview to keep on claiming his unemployment cheque. But Philippe likes him and his non stuffy way of doing things and whilst there are some initial difficulties as Driss has to learn how to be a carer they end up becoming best friends through a shared passion for fast cars, their appreciation of music as well as a respect for each other.

If you have ended up at this review of "Untouchable" and are unsure whether on not to watch it because it is a "foreign language" movie and you don't speak French then don't worry as you are in for a treat. Yes there are the subtitles which will help you but you won't need them too much as what you see will tell you much of what you need to know because it is a movie driven by two actors who inhabit their characters and physically perform with the way they move and the way they respond to each other with their facial expressions.

Francois Cluzet in Untouchable (2011) (aka: The Intouchables)

Still don't believe me, well just watch the opening scenes where Driss with Philippe in the passenger seat of his sports car try to give the cops the slip, they don't but between them they convince the cops to give them a police escort to hospital whilst they rock out to "September" as it blasts on the car stereo. It tells you so much about these two unlikely people and their friendship, the fun they have and the respect they have for each other from Philippe not seeing Driss as a black guy from the ghetto to Driss not seeing Philippe as being a fragile quadriplegic who needs to be molly coddled. It is such a wonderful opening scene which will make you smile and make you want to watch the rest of the movie.

And the rest of "Untouchable" doesn't let you down as there is scene after scene which will make you smile as Driss comes to work for Philippe, tries to score with his secretary, breathes life into the way things are done and so much more. The mixture of comedy, drama, smiles and some tears makes this one of those movies which never stops giving and I don't just mean the first time you watch it as having seen "Untouchable" three times I am yet to be bored or unmoved by the unfolding drama with scene after scene drawing you in and keeping you involved.

Whilst credit goes to both Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano who wrote and directed "Untouchable" it is for me the acting which makes the movie. The confidence which Omar Sy gives Driss is spot on but so is the way behind the laid back attitude and flirting is a man who cares, understands and in many ways doesn't give a damn what others think. But then there is Francois Cluzet who has to act purely with his face and voice and he does it so brilliantly, from a glint in his eye to the tonal change in his voice he makes the character come to life and makes him such a warm person. And the way Sy and Cluzet interact is simply beautiful, bringing to the screen the aspect of two men who grow to be the closest of friends.

What this all boils down to is that "Untouchable" is something extremely special, a movie which by passes the language difficulties and talks to you in so many ways whilst also entertaining you in even more ways. Everything about it works and it is for me one of the best foreign language movies so far in the 21st century.


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