Based on True Story: The Intouchable & 127 Hours

I always have soft spot for movies based on true story, I am not talking about biopic movies for famous people because those movies often exaggerate things. True story as in the life of unknown people are often more heartfelt.

I watched two Based on True story movies last month, but because of one and many things I couldn’t publish my review till today. Something else always got in the way.

I was planning to write one  post for one movie review because one of them is for my Cinema World series, then I realized that i don’t have enough time to share my reviews if I did one post per review, hence I put the two together. I will have another short review of many movies later this months. I guess having a blog that covers many hobbies kinda give limited time to share things 😉 … but even so, I am not going to specialize my blog, I like it how it is 🙂

Here are the movies:


The Intouchable (2011)

The_IntouchablesSometimes you have to reach into someone else’s world to find out what’s missing in your own.

Director: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
Writers: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
Starring: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Audrey Fleurot, Clotilde Mollet, Anne Le Ny, Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi,     Cyril Mendy, Christian Ameri, Grégoire Oestermann, Marie-Laure Descoureaux, Absa Dialou Toure, Salimata Kamate.
Based on the life of: Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his caregiver Abdel Sellou
Rating: 4 stars

The Intouchable is a very lovely movie, I always enjoy friendship movie more than any movie because I value friendship a lot.

The movie is told as a flashback. Police tried to stop Philippe’s car which is driven by Driss. Driss has no license to drive so they come up with a very convincing lie. Once they are free from the police, the flashback begins. Philippe (François Cluzet), a very rich quadriplegic, and his assistant are interviewing candidates to be his live-in caregiver. The candidates are mostly trained nurse but none seemed to appeal to Philippe. Driss (Omar Sy) is among the candidates, but he isn’t there to get the job, he cares more in getting rejection letter so that he can continue his welfare benefit. Beyond expectation, the free spirit Driss attracted Philippe the most and asks him to come back the next day.

When Driss comes to Philippe’s big mansion to get his rejection letter but to his surprise Philippe offers him the job. With no experience at all in taking care of disable people, Driss soon learnt that he can do a lot more than taking care of Philippe, he can be his friend.

The movie feels warm and the chemistry between Cluzet and Sy as Philippe and Driss is really good. They are very believable as friends. Acting wise, the two are equal. The way Cluzet has to stay still and only shows emotion through facial expression matches the way Sy portrays Driss as a carefree person. They do their part without overdoing it.

The Intouchable shows good movie doesn’t need extravagant special effect which is quite a trend in nowadays blockbuster movies…all it needs is good story with a lot of heart. It’s also a nice comedy.

…and to no surprise, Hollywood is planning a remake *roll eyes*, can’t you just watch good movies with foreign language without it being turned into English?

Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou
Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou

This French movie is part of my Cinema World Series hosted by Caroline @ Beauty is a Sleeping Cat


127 Hours (2010)


Director: Danny Boyle
Screenplay: Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
Starring: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
Based on: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
Rating: 3 stars

I have been curious about this movie since its release date…however this isn’t the kind of movie I’d like to watch in cinema…so I wait for the DVD. It took more time to finally buy and watch it. I don’t know why I kept delaying it.

127 Hours can be considered as a one man show because most of the time we only see James Franco as Aron Ralston. I like one man show if it was done nicely…having said that I think 127 Hours is a bit weak as a one man show. I think Franco lacks of persona that can keep people glued watching nothing but him. Take example of Tom Hanks in Cast Away and Ryan Reynolds in Buried…those two are amazing!! They can make me forget the fact that there isn’t anyone else on the screen but him (Hanks/Reynolds). What kept me glued to 127 Hours is my curiosity, I was very curious to know how Aron manages to get away from his unlucky situation.

Aron Ralston is a climber and canyoneer. One faithful day, 25 April 2003 to be exact, Ralston goes to Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, he doesn’t tell anyone where he is going. He meets a couple of girls and promises to come to their party. He arrives in Blue John Canyon, hopping from one rock to another. In one of the gap, the rock comes loose and Ralston falls down along with the rock. The rock smashes his left hand to the canyon wall. Ralston can’t take his hand off of the rock. The situation forces him to stay there for days. He tries everything to get his hand loose, from chipping the rock to lifting it and finally cutting his hand off. Being down there for days makes him imagines stuff and reflects on his past life.

This is a bit of spoiler:  I have been watching movies with bloody scenes since elementary. I didn’t flinch when Arnold peeled his eyes off in Terminator (I wasn’t even 12 years old at that time) nor I closed my eyes when Rain chopped of human bodies with his sword in Ninja Assassin…all of those scenes were nothing but special effect…BUT when Franco tried to cut his hand off, I flinched and almost shut my eyes despite the fact I know that it’s nothing but effect. What made me flinch was the fact that the scene was based on true event, the real Aron Ralston really cut his hand off.

It’s fascinating how the will to live can easily beat the most painful wound we inflicted upon ourselves. What Ralston did is similar to a man (I have forgotten his name) who got stuck in a building during the big earthquake in Padang few years ago, he sawed his own leg so that he could get out of the collapsing building.

I really like the view on this movie. The canyon is beautiful. I give two thumbs up for the cinematography. Boyle really knows his stuff when it comes to cinematography…however, as I have said above, I am not convinced with Franco. The movie feels flat and lacks of emotion. Critics said that Franco was good but having seen Hanks and Reynolds, what Franco did was nothing compared to them (in my opinion). As a whole, I still enjoy the movie because it shows amazing power to survive.

Aron Ralston and Wife
Aron Ralston and Wife


The Intouchable

127 Hours

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