Movie Review of 'The Intouchables' (2011) - Humor, with Sensibilities

Language - French
Genre - Drama, Comedy
**ing - François Cluzet, Omar Sy and Anne Le Ny
Release - 2011

Based on a true story, The Intouchables (literal translation is 'the untouchables') is a delightfully entertaining comedy that manages to infuse entertainment with great dramatic moments. The movie has already become the second most successful French movie of all time, behind the 2008 comedy Welcome to the Sticks. Such was the admiration  for the movie in France that they actually voted it as the biggest cultural event of 2011. 

The Intouchables stars popular French actor François Cluzet as a wealthy tetraplegic widower Philippe, living in a luxurious Parisian Mansion with aristocratic flair, who befriends a young ex-con Driss (brilliantly played by Omar Sy) of Senegalese descent after he unwillingly becomes the care-taker of the millionaire. Together, they represent the extremes of French society, both in terms of class and race. Though in the real story the movie is based on, the care-taker is an Arab, Omar Sy's performance wouldn't leave any room for you to complain about. 

Having run through overly eager to please care-takers,  Phillipe takes into the exuberant and flippant Driss who exhorts the disabled millionaire to once again savor the pleasures of life and try new adventures such as smoking weed and 'ladies', and above all treats Philippe without an iota of pitiful empathy. The other residents of the mansion whose lives revolve around caring for Philippe such as chief assistants Magalie (Audrey Fleurot), Arcelle (Clothilde Mollet), Yvonne (Anne Le Ny), the cook, gardeners and a rebellious teenage daughter Elisa, all treat Driss with suspicion and disdain at the beginning, but gradually succumb to his flippant charm. But Driss has demons of his own, and the experience teaches him to be a better man in his own family.  Despite the stereotypes and regular sentimentality, The Intouchables works and connects at all levels.