SUMOskinny magazine is the ultimate guide to college life. Part local, part national, and all college.
Being the most watched film in France in 2011 and the third most watched film of all time in that country, ”The Intouchables” is as widespread to the French as “The Avengers” is to our American popular culture. Since premiering at the Tokyo International Film Festival last year, it’s made its way around the world until us tasteless Americans – who are proving permanently this summer that we will waste all our money on repetitive superhero movies – finally have been graced with a nationwide release this past weekend, some of the last people in the world to be legally allowed to see the movie at a theater.
“The Intouchables” gerrymanders from the opening sequence, where it seems upon meeting the main character Driss (played by Omar Sy) during a high-speed police chase that we are seeing some kind of fusion of a gangster movie like “The Untouchables” with a car chase movie like one from the “Fast & Furious” series. After watching Philippe (a handsome Francois Cluzet) – a quadriplegic who is riding shotgun in Driss’ car – fake that he is dying to avoid arrest, it turns into more of light-hearted comedy quite quickly. We’re taken back in time to see when Philippe first meets Driss and agrees to save him from the crime-filled world he’s living in.
Driss is not a stereotypical, embellished black man in a “Magic Negro” movie – his mannerisms are common of someone who had a rather thuggish upbringing, living day by day on the streets committing whatever scheme he can to keep loot in his pocket. This sense of realism is the most commendable aspect of “The Intouchables.” As a character study about this diabolical individual, it remains authentic in part because it’s not just about a black man saving a white man – typical in American “Magic Negro” movies like “The Green Mile” – it’s about an unlikely bond shared by two friends from opposite side of the economic and moral spectrum, who by getting to understand each other enjoy life more than they ever imagined before.
And in the end, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that the exact type of situation us as people who believe in equality are fighting for? A situation where an opulent, motionless, white quadriplegic can get along with and learn so much from an under-privileged, muscular, black gangsta – and vice versa? This is undoubtedly the world that we live in in the year 2012, and “The Intouchables” is a truthful and fun exemplification of this contemporary world. Surely, any film that has a blantant medical marijuana is good subtext is usually something I like a lot, especially when it's light-hearted.
Everytime you socialize with SUMOskinny, you get points. Read a story? Points. Share a story? Points. Use points to get free stuff in our shop now.