DVD Review: Samba
From the award-winning team behind The Intouchables was all I needed to know about Samba to want to watch it. What amazing feel good film would Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache come up with to follow on from the amazing Intouchables? Sadly something not quite up to expectations and a little disjointed. Samba probably has more in common with the 2007 American immigration film The Visitor than it does The Intouchables.
However this political story of the uncertain life of illegal immigrants living in Paris is held together by it’s two lead roles, Omar Sy and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Omar who played one of the lead roles in The Intouchables once again plays a charming character, Samba, who meets Charlotte’s character, Alice, at a detention center, where she is working whilst taking a mental break from her real job. Despite being warned not to make attachments, Alice finds she is drawn to the charismatic Samba, and eventually falls for him.
Samba’s life is pretty up and down, always looking for work, and running from the cops, it seems like he will never realise that Alice likes him, as she has to be content to flirt around the edges, as not to let her co-workers know she is breaking the cardinal rule.
The films real issue stems from having several subplots that really don’t lead to much, and fail to bring anything to the film, but ends up taking much needed time away from the developing relationship with the central characters, which is the essence of the film.
All up, Samba is an interesting look at the ever grey area of immigration, and as a stand alone film, holds it’s own. But watching it on the premise of having enjoyed The Untouchables, comes as a bit of a let down.