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The Intouchables - Movie Analysis
Transcript of The Intouchables - Movie Analysis
Context of Scene
Philippe is an extremely wealthy man who, after a paragliding accident has become a quadriplegic. Philippe controversially employes Driss, a poor, unemployed man, as his full-time carer. Driss initially had no intention of being hired, and had applied for the job simply to be eligible for unemployment benefit. The two form an unlikely friendship as their relationship develops through Driss' work as Philippe's carer. Driss discovers that Philippe has had an epistolary relationship with a woman named Eléonore for 6 months, and encourages Philippe to meet up with her. Philippe agrees to meet Eléonore, however leaves at the last minute, as he fears her reaction to his disability. Philippe and Driss take a weekend away, and end up going paragliding. This is where the paragliding scene comes in, which highlights Philippe and Driss' blossoming relationship.
How is this scene constructed?
The scene constructed differently to the rest of the movie. The location of the scene is the most obvious difference; we are taken far away into the mountains, into a somewhat majestic or even dream-like scenario. This brings out a different emotion in viewers than the other scenes, as we feel uplifted, and empowered as we watch these humans flying over this magnificent backdrop, seeming tiny in comparison to the enormous mountains, but at the same time, in control.
Music and sound
What ideas are presented in this scene?
This scene presents ideas about freedom, and expressing yourself. We are presented with this quadriplegic man who can’t control his own body and has very little control over his life. This is the one place where Philippe can feel free, where his disability isn't stopping him from doing something liberating. Philippe’s disability was as a result of a paragliding accident, and this is the first time that he has been paragliding since the accident that rendered him a quadriplegic. The fact that he still chooses to paraglide shows mental strength and integrity, as well as bravery and courage.
By Fleur Goodman, Maddy Fulton, Molly Ingram & Rachael Joyce
In this scene, we also see a different side of Philippe, as he shows that he can be brave as well. We get the feeling that this is a very personal way for Philippe to express himself, and the fact that he brings Driss with him on this journey of sorts shows us that Philippe is really opening up to Driss, and that they have a connection. This scene marks the beginning of an inseparable bond formed by Driss and Philippe, and gives us
hope for the future.
‘Feeling good’ by Nina Simone (Reference of song with lyrics):
The song used in this scene is called ‘Feeling good’ by Nina Simone. The choice of the song greatly influences the mood and the position of the audience when watching this scene. The song starts quite soft and slow, creating a calm peaceful mood for the viewers. This peaceful and composed music played is during the start of the scene where they are about to take off paragliding, and preparing themselves for this adventure. While Philippe completely calm and contained and seems entirely ready to take off, Driss is more stressed and fearful for this activity. This music is played as a reflection of Philippe’s mood and feelings, and the camera focuses on Driss’ scared expression. This and Driss’ shouts over the top of the music creates contrast within the scene. This contrast is effective in portraying both the character’s individual moods.
Besides tonality and mood of the song, the lyrics also greatly contribute to the feeling of the scene. The first lyrics that enter the scene are:
‘’Birds flying high you know how I feel,
Sun in the sky you know how I feel,
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel,
It’s a new dawn,
It’s a new day,
It’s a new life for me,
and I’m feeling good.”
The song changes mood and increases the intensity of the scene when the instruments come into the song. It is timed perfectly so that the song suddenly intensifies as Philippe and Driss lift off from the ground. The change of song brings the instruments creating the same peacefulness, except with an added jazzy feeling creating the mood of the scene to lift the happiness and joy. This part of the song tries to give the audience the intensifying mood of the feeling when paragliding.
Another use of this peaceful music adapts the calm peacefulness, and lets the audience focus on the beautiful setting, rather than the heart-racing activity.
Overall, the music in this scene completely changes and influences the mood of the audience into creating this peaceful and happy scene that encourages the viewers to focus on the beautiful things in life rather than their troubles.
The music invites the audience to feel calm and peaceful like Philippe, rather than sharing the feeling of Driss’ nervousness. The directors wanted to share Philippe’s mood with the audience through music so they could understand more about what paragliding means to him and what his interpretation is of the experience.
These lyrics reflect the thoughts of Philippe perfectly, and it gives the audience the feeling that even though he is quadriplegic, he comes to this beautiful place and it’s a different world for him. It’s his escape, and his way of appreciating his life for what he has. To Philippe it’s “a new day, a new life” and he can feel free and not think about his troubles.
Extreme Wide Shot
An extreme wide shot is used to inform the viewers about the characters whereabouts and what activities they are participating in.
In this film the dynamic friendship of a poor young black man who grew up in poverty with many siblings, Driss, and an older,
wealthy paraplegic man, Philippe. The duo liked to do fun activities together; this certain activity had a very deep connection with Philippe. A paragliding accident is what caused Philippe to become a paraplegic. Looking at this beautiful shot, makes the audience realise how beautiful life is and that anyone of any race, size, social status or physical status can make the most of life. This wide shot in this scene evokes very strong emotions such as happiness and serenity.
Medium Close-Up Shot
A medium shot is used to show the detail, emotion and thought that is taking place in the actors face.
This makes the audience feel as though they are included in the film and that they can almost feel that emotion themselves. In the beginning of this scene Driss is very hesitant to go paragliding, until he realises that her needs to be there for Philippe, at this moment he takes a deep breath, the camera comes quite close to his face and he gets over his fear and jumps off the cliff.
Low Angle Shot
A low shot angle was used to capture the action as it was happening;
The low shot angle captures the sun, clouds, a little bit of mountains and most
importantly, Driss’s reaction to paragliding. Even though at first Driss did not want to paraglide he did it for Philippe and ended up enjoying it. When the characters are looking down on us, it also gives us the sense that they are in control, and that they have power, and this is exactly what motivated Philippe to take part in this activity, so it highlights the important emotions in this scene.
High Angle Shot
A high shot angle was used to get a shot of Philippe with the mountainous background. This shot can also be classified as a two-person shot, simply meaning that there are two
people in the frame participating in an activity together. Not only is the scenery beautiful, but seeing Philippe, a paraplegic man, happy and finally overcoming something that he has feared for so long is really beautiful. This gives the audience a good feeling, and leaves them feeling happy for Philippe.
Visuals and Setting
In this scene we see Driss and Philippe paragliding, the activity in which Philippe had his accident which made him quadriplegic. The images imply that Driss is hesitant to engage in the activity, but eventually he overcomes this and we see him somewhat enjoying himself. This image leads us to question how much Driss cares about Philippe and shows us that it is probably more than he lets on. This is displayed by his willingness to overcome his fear to enjoy one of the only things in which Philippe feels in control.
This scene is shot in is Mont Bisanne which is in Villard-sur-Doron which is in the South East of France close to the Italian border. The mountains we see in the background are blurred but still prominent showing us that the problems and challenges in Philippe’s life are still present but are out of focus. The reason for this being that paragliding makes him calm and brings him control over his issues. The colours of the scene, in the grass, mountains and sky show us again that Philippe is at peace and that this activity calms and brings him his much needed control over his body.
The reaction of Driss, being hesitant about paragliding shows us that he has not experienced paragliding before, we can infer from this that the reason Driss has not participated in this activity before is because of his social and economic class. We can take from this that Driss is of a lower class that Philippe and that Philippe is quite high class. The difference between Philippe and Driss’ classes make their friendship more of a unique occurrence , but we are shown earlier in the movie that the reason that Philippe enjoys Driss’ company so much is that Driss has no pity, from this we can imagine that Philippe has been patronised and treated specially due to his disability.
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