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For professional musician Simon Daoud (Kad Merad) it's a real challenge when he has to teach a school class in a Paris suburb how to play the violin. The children from socially disadvantaged families have not only never held an instrument in their hands. They also lack discipline and passion. Simon finds it difficult to convey this to the children. But when he discovers a real talent in the young Arnold (Rénely Alfred), it helps him to concentrate on the big goal: A performance in the concert hall of the Paris Philharmonic. But it's still a long way off…
Inspired by a social, musical-orchestral school project initiated by the Paris Philharmonic, director Rachid Hami has staged a beautiful city fairy tale about the power of music in "La Mélodie - The Sound of Paris". Kad Merad, who is mainly known from comedies like "Willkommen bei den Sch`tis", convinces in a very reserved role as a violin teacher, who tries to convey discipline, but also friendship and cohesion to the children with the help of music. Hami was very concerned with authenticity in the production. So the child actors were cast in the district of Paris, where the story also takes place. And only those children were selected who had no experience with violin playing.
Just like the students in the film, the actors should gradually learn how to use the instrument and their playing should be so good that they can perform in the concert hall of the Paris Philharmonic. Particularly important was the cast of Arnold, who was inspired by a boy Hami had met in the Belleville district of Paris. In Rénely Alfred he has found the perfect young actor who, like his real role model, has an innate musical talent.
This approach to casting and staging pays off, as the audience can always see whether an actor is really playing his instrument or just pretending to. Moreover, the kids seem to be very authentic, which gives the story a certain credibility despite its almost fairytale-like character. "La Mélodie - The Sound of Paris" is a truly beautiful film that believes in the good in people and shows how music can overcome social, societal and cultural boundaries. An enchanting big city drama, which deserves an "absolutely worth seeing" more than it deserves.
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