The Upside

USA, 2017. dir. Neil Burger, 125 mins.

Distributor: Elevation Pictures

Dates and Venues Opens January 11, 2019 Various Select Cinemas

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Based on a true story, this comedic look at the relationship between a wealthy man (Bryan Cranston) with quadriplegia and an unemployed man with a criminal record who's hired to help him is a pretty interesting picture, especially with comedian Kevin Hart as the unemployed man on parole. This film is based on the French film ¨Les intouchables´ which was based on a documentary film À la vie, à la mort about these two men,  Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his French-Algerian caregiver, Abdel Sellou.

I remember seeing this film, I´m not sure now if it was in Netflix, around two years ago. Nine weeks after its release in France in November 2011, it became the second biggest box office hit in France. There were a few differences from the French film. First of all, the French film was shot in Paris, the way it really was in the true story. In this rendition, the locale was New York City. Secondly, the names were changed. The original character was Driss while Hart´s name in this film is Dell. Thirdly, the role of Nicole Kidman as the strict administrator in the original film was a supporting one, but in this film, she co-stars with the principal actors.

It´s a fun film to watch. All three main actors delivered quite well. At the end of the film, before the credits, it states that the two are still friends. In the ending of the French film, however, a part of the documentary showing Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou was shown.

© 2019 Ed Farolan