Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Untouchable

Many years ago I remember being one of ten carers that accompanied a dozen or so spinally injured people to Switzerland to go skiing.
When I look back at the whole beer soaked experience,I do so with great affection for the entire seven days proved to be an hilarious adventure where severely "disabled" individuals learnt to push themselves to the limits and tight arsed nurses learnt to relax and care by the seat of their pants.

I remember one night in particular, when after a heavy day on the slopes, all the "wheelchairs" and their "pushers" joined forces in the bar for some serious apres skiing!
Amid much laughter and clapping, the 12 ex patients formed a line and with arms held aloft they belted out the Football and Carousel Musical anthem "You'll never Walk alone!" 
Of course they substituted the words with their own
so with great amusement to us the nurses, but with much astonishment and disgust to the other drinkers, the group sang out " We'll never walk again!"
Such is the humour of true rehabilitation.

Tonight I went to see the french comedy Untouchable.

I was a little unsure about seeing the film as I thought that the story of how poor wise cracking black guy (Omar Sy) brings joy to the life of rich and cultured quadriplegic (Francois Cluzet) could be somewhat cloying and saccharine to say the least, but as I watched this joyous "study" of friendship between two "odd couple" characters, all I was reminded of , was those hilarious, drunken days when we nurses and patients  forgot our roles and our inhibitions and enjoyed each other as silly drinkers, and warts-and-all friends
The film is a smart, charismatic and incredibly funny essay on the vital nature of friendship.
Friendship that is unconditional and, well, just as it should be.......fun!
The paralysis thing was just incidental
9/10

20 comments:

  1. Yep. I loved it too. I've seen it four times, because I wanted to share it with different people.
    I was disappointed that someone criticised it for Sy depicting stereotypical black guys, but then I wouldn't know typical let alone strereotypical...
    Was the quadriplegic a stereotype too? I just thought it was a good film!

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  2. Kath, I especially loved the scene when Diss dances at Phillipe's stuff birthday.... Without any thought to the fact Phillipe's could not move.... Wonderfully unpatronising.

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  3. Drat! If I hadn't been sentenced to Bangkok I'd have loved to see that film following your review. Couldn't you replace the irritating Claudia Winklepicker on that BBC film programme? I'm sure that audience figures would soar.

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  4. I had a similar experience in the Navy...quite surreal,but I've never forgotten it.
    Jane x

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    1. I'll have to use false names!!
      Jane x

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  5. we all have disabilities; some are just more noticeable then others.


    I worked long ago for many years for a non-profit that served a community - part of my job was to train specifically people with physical issues; quite the challenge when a keyboard was involved - sometimes I had to really go techie to get the job set up for my trainees. I had one young college student who happened to be blind - no, she wanted to you to call her blind - imagine the shock on one biotchy upper level manager who was forcing all of us to use "political correct words" (can you tell it was the 90's?)in the office and here is S---, vehemently stating "im BLIND, damit, Im f---in Blind, cant you see that?" and no, she didnt get fired because that manager was one of those who think because you have a physical limitation that everyone can see, that makes you into a pity party...needless to say i had a private talk with S--- and let her know that in the future if you want to go far in life, you have to choose better "weasel words" to convince someone of your viewpoint, but only if youre being paid LOL we have so many stories like yours...I havent see the movie, but i trust your judgement, john ;)

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    1. In my experience abled bodied people try too hard with people with disabilities and often don't cause a spade a spade. Pity is a destructive emotion.

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    2. You are so right, pity is a destructive emotion.

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  6. I have only recently heard of it. Must search it out. Thanks

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  7. The film made a big splash over here too. Conquering adversity is true power.

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  8. I enjoyed the movie... we just watched it last week. Funny stuff, and as you say, not cloying.

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  9. Reminds me a little bit of Inside I'm Dancing!

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  10. I'm so glad you liked Untouchable. I'll make the effort to see it now although we're in a bit of a cultural vacuum here!

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  11. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  12. Here in the wilds of America I won't get to see the movie until May.

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  13. I'm so pleased that you followed up your comment at the end of my review of the film last November, J.G. - but especially that I hadn't put you off. It was clear that the rest of the audience at the showing I attended thought most of the film was riotously funny, leaving me with the 'left out' feeling of not knowing why I wasn't sharing their evident pleasure. You also saw something that had missed me so it seems to be one I should make an effort to see again - though I doubt if I can be like Katherine, above, and watch it FOUR times!

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  14. What a great post, John.

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  15. judithH5:17 pm

    I missed the film in West Cornwall because I was unwell in the autumn when it was briefly showing here; I've been trying to chase it for a while having heard brilliant reviews from men and women of all ages. I would love it to come back - anyone else feel the same way? I think I'll contact the Penwith film club and see what happens.

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  16. I agree. It is a brilliant film, helped enormously by the rather lovely Omar Sy. But very moving and completely touchable. Both.

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