I don’t normally do this but I had to share my opinion about perhaps one of the best films I have ever seen… ‘The Intouchables’. It has apparently been seen by 60% of the French population and now I have seen it I can see why!
It truly is a great film that leaves you with the most wonderful feeling. At night in Paris, Driss is driving Philippe's Maserati at high speed. They are chased by the police. In order to get away with his speeding, Driss claims the quadriplegic Philippe must be urgently driven to the emergency room. Philippe pretends to have a stroke and the fooled police officers escort them to the hospital.
The story is then told as a flashback: Philippe, a rich quadriplegic who owns a luxurious mansion, and his assistant Magalie, are interviewing candidates to be his live-in caregiver. Driss, a candidate, has no ambitions to get hired. He is just there to get a signature showing he was interviewed and rejected in order to continue to receive his welfare benefits. He is told to come back the next morning to get his signed letter.
The next day, Driss returns and learns that he is on a trial period for the live-in caregiver job. He learns the extent of Philippe's disability and then accompanies Philippe in every moment of his life. A friend of Philippe's reveals Driss's criminal record which includes six months in jail for robbery. Philippe states he does not care about Driss's past because he is the only one that does not treat him with pity. He says he will not fire him as long as he does his job properly.
Over time, Driss and Philippe become closer. Philippe discloses to Driss that he became disabled following a paragliding accident and that his wife died without bearing children. Gradually, Philippe is led by Driss to put some order in his private life, including being more strict with his adopted daughter Elisa.
Driss discovers modern art, opera, and even takes up painting. For Philippe's birthday, a private concert of classical music is performed in his living room. At first very reluctant, Driss is led by Philippe to listen more carefully to the music and opens up to Philippe's music. Driss then plays the music he likes to Philippe (Boogie Wonderland, by Earth, Wind & Fire), which opens up everybody to dance.
The story continues until a fantastic conclusion but on their way, the two lead actors provide some tremendous belly laughs and their acting performances are quite wonderful. If you can see this at the cinema… do, but it works really well I’m sure on DVD.
A film with a great start, middle AND end… and they are few and far between!