Samba France 2014 – 120min.
In France in search of a better life and to support his family in Senegal, Samba has been working odd jobs for ten years, helped by his uncle. When he finally has hope of real work, he applies for a residency permit, but is then arrested and sent to a camp for “illegal” immigrants. His file is assigned to Manu, a temp intern who brings along her friend Alice, a burned-out executive whose life has been ruined. Alice and Samba develop a special relationship, full of both fun and confessions…
What can one expect from the reunion of Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache with their favorite actor, Omar Sy, three years after the phenomenal success of The Intouchables ? Many things, but not the disappointment everyone fears. Instead, the handicap of being undocumented, which is more than just current these days, permits the two directors to demonstrate yet again their talents as screenwriters. Thanks to excellent dialogue and a good number of scenes destined to enter the realm of cult, magic is made. The film is a delicate mix of burlesque comedy and social drama balanced through the misadventures of the main characters, who are separated by their cultures but united in their humanity. The only down side is the last half hour, which considerably bogs down the story with a series of silly twists and turns – a chase along the quais, a disappearance that is not believable, and an artificial resolution. But the movie remains excellent, thanks to a fantastic cast led by the irresistible Omar Sy and Charlotte Gainsbourg, an exceptional tragicomic duo, supported by the wonderful Izïa Higelin and Tarah Rahim. Samba is a popular comedy of the highest order.