Untouchable is emotionally engaging and yet offers a brilliant laid-back funny approach to the main characters.
Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano are both France born film-makers who have worked together on multiple projects. Including Tellement Proches where they worked alongside Omar Sy who plays the young out of luck and now hired carer in Untouchable. In fact you only have to briefly skim their film career to notice that these three enjoy working together. As this is their first film to get recognition worldwide I had not heard of them, and their mostly known to the France film industry.
Untouchable follows the story Philippe (Francois Cluzet) who is now a quadriplegic following a paragliding accident. Wealthy and wanting something different is his now boring and very routine driven life he hires Driss (Omar Sy) a young man from the projects to look after him.
I have mentioned it before however I want to reiterate that the comedy drama is my favorite genre. There’s just something fantastic about the way it offers a blend of amusing and then strong characters for which we emphasis with. Although other genres can do this just as well I have found this particular genre the most impressive. For instance take Kitchen Stories (incidentally one of my favorite films) a brilliant comedy drama that takes on a quirky story of researchers who observe the kitchen habits of local people. What made this film so good was the strength of characters and especially the two main ones as we mostly learn about them. Untouchable is equally as strong in this area as the friendship between Philippe and Driss grows the film gets better.
Obviously these characters wouldn’t be as strong or believable if the actors playing them were not performing to their best ability. Fortunately for us the acting is superb and specifically noticeable in Francois Cluzet (who looks like the french version of Dustin Hoffman) and Omar Sy’s effort in this film. Given the majority of screen time is dedicated to thriving their friendship they needed to make the audience emphasize not just with Philippe but also Driss.
The important theme here is less about peoples views on someone weal-chair bound, but more about how two very different lifestyles can make each other happy. Driss lives in a crowded flat with his large family unemployed he has to result to welfare (for which he initially receives from Philippe) his mother no longer wants to see him and so his quality of life is not great. Philippe lives in a mansion and is shown as the opposite end from Driss living in comfort. However he is trapped in a world of near total paralysis and it’s become a mundane life of routine in order to keep himself alive. Its the fact that Driss shows an almost laid-back approach to life and indeed Philippe’s disability, that their friendship is able thrive.
Interestingly Untouchable is based on a true story and after watching this I went to look up the original story. From a film point of view its clear that they have portrayed the real life men very well and this can’t be often said for other biographical films. The only problem with this film is due to distribution this is not an easy film to view outside of France (other than cinema release) however given the opportunity people should make sure they watch what I feel is 2012’s ‘feel good’ movie.