Coming hot on the heels of the most successful paralympics ever, Untouchable is clearly well positioned to cash in on revised attitudes to people with disabilities and certainly succeeds in capturing the mood. And in our progressive mood, we far better understand why the incredibly wealthy quadriplegic, Philippe, would choose Driss, a man very much of the ghetto, as his unlikely carer. It is the far more qualified applicants that patronisingly pity Philippe, while Driss really couldn’t care less about the rich man’s plight and only wants a form signed that will prove to the dole that he actually applied for a job.
While what follows isn’t especially unpredictable to anyone who’s seen a feel good movie based around an unlikely paring before, it is thoroughly enjoyable, gently humorous and well worth a couple of hours of anyone’s time.
For reasons that are not at all clear (I don’t see why Driss could not have continued caring for Philippe until the latter’s inevitable demise), this is a relationship that cannot last. Driss is eventually summoned back to where he came from, but he is reformed enough to get a job as delivery van driver, rather than return to a life on the dole. What niggled with me though was Driss’s choice of music. Philippe, being incredibly wealthy, is into classical music, a bit of opera and so on. Driss is into Kool & the Gang and Earth Wind and Fire. The film is based on a true story and so I’m guessing that that true story took place in the 1970s, which would explain Driss’s musical tastes, but the film is set in the present day when it is inconceivable to me that nobody at all in Philippe’s household has ever heard Boogie Wonderland.