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Intouchable Samba (Untouchable Samba): Originality of Nakache and Toledano is a far cry

Samba

Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano are back with a new beautiful French film. The two are known for the film Intouchables. Intouchables and especially Driss (Omar Sy), one of the main characters, have conquered a very special place in my heart. I must admit that I’ve seen the film at least ten times. The story was so touching and particularly the acting of Omar Sy left many people speechless (my mom even told me that she cried when it ended). It was no surprise when it was announced that the two directors and Omar Sy were going to collaborate in a new film (never change a winning team). The end product of this second cooperation is ‘Samba’, which premiered on the 7th of September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film tells the story of Samba, who migrated from Senegal to France, ten years ago. Since he moved to France he has been trying to get a residence permit to stay in France. In the meantime he tries to make some money with various low paid jobs like washing the dishes in restaurants and cleaning windows of office buildings. He is very much trying to keep a low profile, but he gets arrested a couple of times. However, just like in Intouchables, he doesn’t lose his sense of humor and catching smile. He meets Alice, she is a volunteer in refugee camp. The reason why she is doing that is because she is reviving from a burnout. The two create a special relationship during the film. But that is enough spoiling for now.

Although Omar Sy plays again the character of a tertiary Parisian who fights for his existence in the hectic maze called Paris, it is a very different movie than Intouchables and I mean this in a negative sense. It misses the magic that Nakache and Toledano created with Intouchables. Nevertheless it is still a very accurate reflection of the policy regarding refugees who seek asylum in France and other countries in the European Union. This is not the way things are in France only, other countries are also guilty of taking the time with delivering residence permits for refugees. Though this is not based on a true story, it does makes the story more credible.

I decided to watch the film pretty open-minded. Thus I didn’t look up any background information, I only watched the trailer. As the film was playing, I started to get the feeling that this was some kind off spin-off of Intouchables. It almost looked like the prequel of Intouchables. Nearly everything is exactly the same. The long dialogue scenes between two characters, the drama, the adorable jokes of Omar Sy’s character; there is even a dancing scene. Only thing is that this time Samba doesn’t want to dance (how ironic), besides this time it isn’t Earth, Wind & Fire who gets everyone’s feet up off the ground, Bob Marley does it instead. Speaking of music, the directors have again not been very original with selecting the music for this film. Ludovico Einaudi covers most of the film with his inspiring music, again. Hearing the music of Einaudi gave me again the feeling that I was watching a second Intouchables. Come on guys, did you used the deleted scenes of Intouchables for Samba?

All in all, Samba underlines once again the fact that the second movie is never as good as the first, even if it is not a sequel on Intouchables. The saying ‘’never change a winning team’’ is nothing more than a catchy phrase if we speak about Sy, Nakache and Toledano. Maybe I’m too much looking at this film with an Intouchables perspective, but I can’t help comparing since the storyline is identical apart from a few minor details. Nevertheless, looking beyond the lack of originality of the directors, it still is nice story and you simply can’t hate Omar Sy. Like I said before, his catching smile gives the film the extra touch it needs.

I haven’t told you that the film is based on a book written by Delphine Coulin, the book is called ‘’Samba pour la France’’ (Samba for France). I would recommend watching the film before reading the book, because when Coulin mentions Samba in the book it will remind you of the adorable smile of Omar Sy. Unlike you would think after reading this, I’m not in love with Omar Sy, but his acting is just formidable. My final verdict is that if you love Intouchables like I do, you should definitely watch the movie, you will know what I am talking about.

Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano are back with a new beautiful French film. The two are known for the film Intouchables. Intouchables and especially Driss (Omar Sy), one of the main characters, have conquered a very special place in my heart. I must admit that I’ve seen the film at least ten times. The story was so touching and particularly the acting of Omar Sy left many people speechless (my mom even told me that she cried when it ended). It was no surprise when it was announced that the two directors and Omar Sy were going to collaborate in a new film (never change a winning team). The end product of this second cooperation is ‘Samba’, which premiered on the 7th of September at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film tells the story of Samba, who migrated from Senegal to France, ten years ago. Since he moved to France he has been trying to get a residence permit to stay in France. In the meantime he tries to make some money with various low paid jobs like washing the dishes in restaurants and cleaning windows of office buildings. He is very much trying to keep a low profile, but he gets arrested a couple of times. However, just like in Intouchables, he doesn’t lose his sense of humor and catching smile. He meets Alice, she is a volunteer in refugee camp. The reason why she is doing that is because she is reviving from a burnout. The two create a special relationship during the film. But that is enough spoiling for now.

Although Omar Sy plays again the character of a tertiary Parisian who fights for his existence in the hectic maze called Paris, it is a very different movie than Intouchables and I mean this in a negative sense. It misses the magic that Nakache and Toledano created with Intouchables. Nevertheless it is still a very accurate reflection of the policy regarding refugees who seek asylum in France and other countries in the European Union. This is not the way things are in France only, other countries are also guilty of taking the time with delivering residence permits for refugees. Though this is not based on a true story, it does makes the story more credible.

I decided to watch the film pretty open-minded. Thus I didn’t look up any background information, I only watched the trailer. As the film was playing, I started to get the feeling that this was some kind off spin-off of Intouchables. It almost looked like the prequel of Intouchables. Nearly everything is exactly the same. The long dialogue scenes between two characters, the drama, the adorable jokes of Omar Sy’s character; there is even a dancing scene. Only thing is that this time Samba doesn’t want to dance (how ironic), besides this time it isn’t Earth, Wind & Fire who gets everyone’s feet up off the ground, Bob Marley does it instead. Speaking of music, the directors have again not been very original with selecting the music for this film. Ludovico Einaudi covers most of the film with his inspiring music, again. Hearing the music of Einaudi gave me again the feeling that I was watching a second Intouchables. Come on guys, did you used the deleted scenes of Intouchables for Samba?

All in all, Samba underlines once again the fact that the second movie is never as good as the first, even if it is not a sequel on Intouchables. The saying ‘’never change a winning team’’ is nothing more than a catchy phrase if we speak about Sy, Nakache and Toledano. Maybe I’m too much looking at this film with an Intouchables perspective, but I can’t help comparing since the storyline is identical apart from a few minor details. Nevertheless, looking beyond the lack of originality of the directors, it still is nice story and you simply can’t hate Omar Sy. Like I said before, his catching smile gives the film the extra touch it needs.

I haven’t told you that the film is based on a book written by Delphine Coulin, the book is called ‘’Samba pour la France’’ (Samba for France). I would recommend watching the film before reading the book, because when Coulin mentions Samba in the book it will remind you of the adorable smile of Omar Sy. Unlike you would think after reading this, I’m not in love with Omar Sy, but his acting is just formidable. My final verdict is that if you love Intouchables like I do, you should definitely watch the movie, you will know what I am talking about.

5 Responses to Intouchable Samba (Untouchable Samba): Originality of Nakache and Toledano is a far cry

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