Do you remember the great film of the 1980's that featured Eddie Murphy as the "down and out" street hustler who trades places with Dan Aykroyd the “Ivy League” educated businessman from the imaginatively called film "Trading Places". Great film and this one reminded me of it.
But there I go again starting from the end. Let's start from the beginning of the film and see if it's worth watching, which believe you me it certainly is...
The two main characters are Driss, played by Omar Sy (aka Eddie Murphy) and François Cluzet as Phillipe the housebound paraplegic (Dan Aykroyd, I know it's a very tentative link but you get where I’m going right?)
Now with it being a French film there will always be comparisons to other French films and my review ain't no different because I lack imagination!
Western audiences are flocking to see this great and unpredictable film. At the time of release it had sold nearly three times as many tickets worldwide as “The Artist” did in its entire run and those figures have not taken into consideration the numbers it will get once the UK, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia and Latin America's box office takings are included.
What are the figures we are talking about? Well Box office takings are a staggering $366m so far, compared with The Artist's $134m for its entire global run. Made at a cost of just $10.5m, “Untouchable” is topping national charts, including those of Switzerland, Spain, Italy, South Korea and Germany, (where it has become the highest grossing French film) and figures exceed those for blockbusters such as Harry Potter in some countries.
Based on a true story, the friendship between the two men develops after the millionaire's paragliding accident. The Senegal born ex-convict becomes his carer despite stealing a Fabergé egg during his job interview, and the pair are drawn together by honesty and humour, fear and friendship. Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who spotted the global potential of The Artist, loved Untouchable so much that he snapped up the rights to an English language remake, which will star Colin Firth, before it was even finished.
Now why would a Fabergé Egg collecting French rich brudda employ a Black street kid? Well, during the interviewing process all the candidates have varying reasons as to why they want the job, Driss doesn't even recognise that the man behind the desk is (his future employer) has a disability, he just sees him as a man who needs to sign his form indicating that he has been unsuccessful in applying for the vacancy which means he will receive immediate financial re-numeration) (i.e., unemployment Benefit).
The writers of the screenplay and the directors of this film are Oliver Toledo and Eric Nakache (who I’d never heard of before) and they say that they had the idea of doing this film after they had watched a documentary about the real Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, who was left a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident, and his Algeria-born carer Abdel Sellou. The directors and actors visited Di Borgo, who insisted that they made it a comedy and went on to act as the film's adviser.
This is a really inspirational film and is one of the few films I've seen where the non able bodied person is the star since "Ironside''.
I reckon since the Para Olympics people with blades, wheels and prosthetics' aren't seen as lacking, rather as Superhuman, and I concur. We need to see the person and not the support they have.
The final 10 mins is a real tear jerker due to the fact that even though their personal circumstances have changed from what they were like at the start of the film, their original business arrangement has changed into a true friendship the kind most do not have.
Toledano has stated that he has received more than 3,000 thank-you messages from wheelchair users all over the world. "You will cry if I show you all the messages I've received," he says. "I am so proud."
Go and watch it to see a great film that tells a great story of LOVE, ability, compassion and FRIENDSHIP....
"what's the 411?"
Soon there was www.ZeN411.co.uk
you know it makes sense........
Article by @gmanzen / 2nd October 2012
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