Intouchables (Toledano & Nakache, 2011)


The three themes of the French flag—liberty, equality, fraternity—are brought to life in this heartwarming tale. A pragmatic tetraplegic who has lost his will to fly free again is revived by a socially unapologetic and unabashed freewheeler. Qualities of an autonomous life are realized through scenes of speeding and paragliding, while signs of a friendship untarnished by neither pity nor resentment are found in each man’s gestures and dialogues. As one receives the push he needs to no longer be afraid—to live again—the other gains a newfound respect for himself.

François Cluzet and Omar Sy share great screen presence, providing much comedy and improvisation to sustain an exhilarating pace throughout the rather action-less story. Though expertly shot, the film risks falling into clichés and stereotypes with its somewhat unoriginal—make a movie out of me—life lesson. In spite of this, Intouchables offers much beyond the run-of-the-mill. Heartwarming tendencies aside, the film conveys a sincerity of spirit not to be unappreciated. Divided by a window, two staggeringly different men smile to each other, conveying at once the overwhelming joy of a genuine human connection.

89/100 – Excellent

4 Stars


About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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