Tkings years after the huge success of’Untouchable in 2011 with 19,44 million spectators in France, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache return with Samba, always led by Omar Sy. In Untouchable, the two directors, and writers portrayed the relationship between a young Senegalese (as in Samba) from the suburbs and a wealthy quadriplegic in search of an auxiliary of life. With Samba, we find the confrontation of two social classes through the characters of a sans-papiers and a volunteer in a situation easy. A duo that seems to be without surprise, but which is more complex and that is taken smartly. The result is a perfect mixture of emotion and laughter.
Samba (Omar Sy), immigrated from senegal, lives and works in France since ten years in an irregular situation. One day he is arrested and placed in administrative detention centre while waiting to get papers or be deported. It is there that he meets Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg). A woman who is not in his place. Framework higher, it comes out of a recent depression and strives to regain a foothold in being a volunteer in an association of undocumented migrants. Despite the instructions she was given, Alice quickly becomes attached to Samba.
The film revolves around its two main characters. Samba, in the galley for years, which connects the small jobs that we give to immigrants. Every day he must be on his guard. Don’t “look” of an undocumented migrant for not having control. It must also give its values in question. Obliged to lie about his identity, he will no longer know who he is. Wilson (Tahar Rahim), a friend of Samba, is a Brazilian to have more chances of finding work. Because the reality is that we watch the film through the agencies of interim next to these immigrants, it is that each business is an ethnicity : the restoration to the African of the building for the Portuguese, the textile for the Asian. The film addresses the situation of undocumented migrants with fun while showing the difficult conditions, the obligation to lie in order to be able to work, to get by. Despite all this, Samba keeps on smiling.
In front of him Alice is also in the lack of benchmarks. From the first moments we don’t understand what she did here. Framed by Manu, Izia Higelin , which is perfectly suited to this role of a young student big mouth and revolted, Alice discovers this world. This could be a character simplistic, a woman who from one day to the next is propelled into social assistance is, in reality, more complex and amazing. Alice is constantly uncomfortable. She makes mistakes, goes so far as to complain of his life, however, not very complicated to undocumented migrants in the expectation of support. It is not as shocking or superficial because as his character unfolds.
”The intelligence of the filmmakers is to blend in, difficult situations, and moving the dose of humor adequate, never falling into the mockery”
We learn that she is in the midst of a transition after a burn-out at work which forced him to take a medical leave after she had assaulted a colleague who answered the phone in the middle of a meeting. His volunteer service to the association is a step that allows him to regain a sense of serenity and calm. This also allows him to find the simple things, be affected by the life around it and not be clouded by objectives figure needed in his work. This did not prevent him to lose control sometimes, screaming his ras-le-bol to a Samba stunned. Without becoming a depressing depressive, Charlotte Gainsbourg radiates a lot of charm. She plays very well a woman like a fragile, that can explode from one moment to the other. His relationship with Samba works exactly by the natural to Alice who applies to Samba as an equal. It is a strong point of the film. Never fall for in the complaint or pity. The eyes of Alice is intrigued but not apitoie not, it remains enough away to leave the man his dignity.
Between them the feelings develop with a lot of restraint and hesitation, recalling sometimes that lived the characters of The Emotifs anonymes (2011) by Jean-Pierre Améris. Omar Sy appears to be extremely true in intimate scenes where he does seem genuinely embarrassed. It proves to be an excellent choice and develop a character deeper than what we’d seen in previous films.
Has his way, Samba depicts a terrible reality. The intelligence of the filmmakers is to blend in, difficult situations, and moving the dose of humor adequate, never falling into the mockery. This is a real performance of reach to make people laugh in scenes that are dramatic without falling into heaviness. It’s all the same sometimes a effect to a double-edged sword. Because the strength of mixing as skillfully these two genres (comedy and drama), the viewer comes to not knowing how to react. For example, during a scene of conflict between Samba and his uncle, laughs are heard in the room. After the fact one realizes that Samba has to leave her uncle and that this situation may not be funny. In this way the film comes we jostle, hamper us, and make us lose our bearings. In spite of the choice of staging is sometimes questionable, such as the use of slowed down slightly kitchs, in particular, on the end, the film still manages to make the difference between fun and challenge of the society.
If Untouchable remains in all the heads, and with Samba, it is not expected to the extent that the film achieves the same results. It was a success that only happens rarely (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis in 2008, Untouchable in 2011, That is what we did to God ? 2014). However, Samba is so convincing that there would be no surprise that it has a great success. It is apparent both moved and the smile on his lips. A small flat on the end that would have been able to demonstrate more moral. The film would then be immersed in the drama in moving away from the comedy. This has not been the choice of filmmakers.
• Achievement : Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache
• Screenplay : Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache
• Main actors : Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim, Izïa Higelin
• Country of origin : France
• Released : October 15, 2014
• Duration : 1h58mn
• Distributor : Gaumont Distribution
• Synopsis : Samba, senegalese in France for 10 years, collecting odd jobs ; Alice is a senior executive exhausted by a burn-out. He tries by all means to get his papers, while she tries to rebuild by volunteering in an association. Everyone is looking to get out of its impasse until the day when their destinies intersect… Between humor and emotion, their story is spawning another path to happiness. And if life had more imagination than them ?