Based on a true story, Untouchable is a compelling watch, bringing together two opposite ends of a social spectrum, addressing thought-provoking situations, and providing the viewer with that sumptuous feeling of a warm heart.
Philippe (François Cluzet) is a wealthy quadriplegic living in Paris surrounded by life’s finest luxuries and decadence. Juxtaposing Philippe’s riches is Driss (Omar Sy), a young offender, essentially the “dross” of social dynamics, living in lowly conditions. In a conclusive turn of events, Driss — who is seeking benefit allowance from the French government — ends up working as Philippe’s live-in carer, and so the story begins.
Bringing together two such opposites, and watching the magical formation of their bond is where the enchantment lies in Untouchable. There is a swift leap between everything and nothing — not just between Driss’ and Philippe’s financial status, but also between quality of life. Philippe specifically stated that he did not want pity, and Driss on his part seems unable to show pity — especially to a man who, materially, has everything!
The adventures Philippe and Driss go on to share make up the content of this film. The relationship and trust grow, as does Philippe’s sense of humour and it really is one of the most consolatory things to behold. Despite Driss’s turbulent past and family problems, Philippe seems to be able to lift Driss out of his downward spiral, with a little help from his attractive, red-haired assistant, Magalie (Audrey Fleurot), and another assistant, Yvonne (Anne Le Ny).
The sense of innocence emanating from Driss as he handles the responsibilities that come with Philippe is both tender and comedic. The humour throughout the film is dry, especially from Philippe whose lighter sense of being develops with Driss’s help, as does his motivation for getting out and about once again.
Directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano have achieved levels of brilliance with Untouchable. Where the British film Inside I’m Dancing hit all the right notes back in 2004, this new French film successfully strives to bring the same magic back to our screens. Appealing to a vast audience, there really is no one who won’t enjoy Untouchable.
Untouchable is released in UK cinemas on 21st September 2012.
Watch the trailer for Untouchable here