Art And Culture

French Movie Adapted on Stage

French Movie Adapted on StageFrench Movie Adapted on Stage

A play based on a French movie, directed by Alireza Koushk-Jalali, is underway at Iranshahr Theater in Tehran.

The story is adapted by Jalali from the 2011 French movie ‘Intouchables’ by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. The film was inspired by the true story of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, a disabled French aristocrat, and his French-Algerian caregiver Abdel Sellou.

Two books have been written on the story of Pozzo di Borgo, both contributing to the plot of the French movie: ‘A Second Wind’ an autobiography by Pozzo di Borgo and ‘You Changed My Life’ by the caretaker Sellou on his relationship with his quadriplegic friend.

The play represents important human issues, said actor Nader Fallah. “In the story, a pitiless man helps a disabled person return to normal life.” In other words, both characters “rediscover life,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

In the original story, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was a stubborn and grumpy man who was not in the habit of asking for help. But a paragliding accident left him a quadriplegic. Passing his days behind the high walls of his Paris townhouse, Philippe found himself as the modern equivalent of an “untouchable” - unable to reach out to others, as others were afraid to reach out to him.

The only person who seemed unaffected by Philippe’s condition was someone who had been marginalized his entire life - Abdel, the unemployed, uninhibited Algerian immigrant who becomes his caretaker, and in between dramas and jokes, sustains Philippe’s life for the next ten years.

However, unlike the film, the main character of the play commits suicide due to the loss of his wife. Fallah plays the role of the rich old man paralyzed in an accident.

Fallah said he had not seen the movie, because “I wanted to create the character based on my own perceptions.”

In the adapted play, the caregiver is portrayed as an Afghan expatriate in Iran. The cast also includes Sina Razani, Bahareh Kian Afshar and Sina Karami. The play will run through June 12.