Patrick and I went to see the movie The Intouchables last night. It was cheap night and I was not working and we both were intrigued by the movie.
Normally, I am not a big international film goer. It isn’t because I hate international movies, it is more that I go to so few movies, I feel as if I should go see ones that I have heard of. But, this one we managed to hear about. And it was in French… A language I speak. And complete with English subtitles, something we are both fluent in.
The movie is the story of a young man who winds up becoming the caregiver for a very wealthy widower who happens to be quadrapalegic. It follows their journey from being one that was hostile and initiated because of a bet that the young man couldn’t manage the job into a lifelong friendship.
Apparently reviews weren’t that good, at least not the North American ones. Patrick read that many complained that it was racist and stereotypical because it was a black caregiver from a poor family into various forms of crime and other trouble and a very wealthy while quadrapeligic man.
Honestly, I didn’t find it that unrealistic. And it is based on a true story. To me, when something is based in fact, changing it so that people (who are being oversensitive, in my opinion) aren’t upset by it is a bit ridiculous. Plus, like one thing Patrick read said, racism isn’t as big of an issue in France as classism is (I really don’t know if this is true, but that is what he read). If so, then this movie addressed the issue head on.
The film addressed a number of issues while seemingly staying true to the real story. Family values were looked at in the relationship of the young man who was the caregiver with his family, same with that of the man being cared for and his daughter. Friendship was a big theme. There was also the apparent melding of two people from two different classes, pretty much two different worlds. It looked at the concept of disability and how people who are differently abled can still have fulfilling lives and want to be treated as everyone else is treated. It looked at the issue of how expensive and time consuming dealing with a serious disability can be.
Honestly, I think the film was realistic in its approach to addressing many issues all the while being entertaining. It had a message and a story. It was great. At least to us.