I knew this movie’s soundtrack even before I knew it was a movie.
It was months ago and I don’t remember what I was doing but I do remember listening to classical music and then somehow music from The Intouchables was blasting through my speakers. It came on suddenly, as an autoplay on YouTube, but instead of skipping it, I stopped and listened.
Fast-forward a few weeks and I could be found reading a book called Me Before You. It told a story of a young woman helping a quadriplegic young man find joy in life. Afterwards I watched the movie adaptation of the book because I could not accept that the story ended the way it did. I will not tell you how because this is a spoiler free review.
Then I was angry for a very long time and just as any other angry person, I spent hours reading other people’s opinions on the matter, which led me to the little gem of a movie I will be discussing in this post. Someone said that this portrayed the quadriplegic life much better and had a happier ending. I was excited especially because I recognized it from the day I listened to its soundtrack on loop. But did I watch it right then and there? No.
Another month passed. I sat through many movies, some great, others not so much and it was last night that the time to watch The Intouchables came. And I wasn’t going to do a movie review so early on in my blog but after seeing it, I couldn’t help myself. I liked it right away from the opening scene, which involved speeding through the streets of Paris in a black Maserati. In fact, I would say it only got better after that.
This movie was a fantastical French buddy film, with a similar plot to Me Before You, but oh so different. In fact, it stood out among many other films I’ve seen in the past months. The plot was great, the acting superb, the ending more than perfect but what got me was the humor. I haven’t laughed like I did watching Philippe and Driss interact in some time: Purely and uncontrollably (well, almost, I always try to retain some sort of control, so as not to roll off my chair and laugh until I’m crying on the floor).
And the best part was that this movie was based on a true story.
The poignancy of the writing shone through. There wasn’t a scene out of place and every piece of dialogue served to further the character and plot development. I didn’t have to sit through a boring scene just so I could get to another, more exciting one. Although there were some parts of the movie I didn’t agree with, overall those parts didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the movie’s better parts.
Now, I know many have criticized The Intouchables for recycling the plot where a young, lively person helps and older, depressed person find meaning in life but it’s important to remember that throughout humanity certain stories are bound to repeat. And not only because some of the new generation won’t watch the old reiterations of the tale but also because it’s a natural way of things (after all, I’m not the first nor the last person who will say or think these words). What matters is the way it’s reinterpreted. And to me, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, the directors and writers of The Intouchables, did a great job.
In the end, The Intouchables was a heartfelt and an inspiring wonder that had me smiling long after it was over.