|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Regie:||Eric Toledano & Olivier Nakache|
|Laufzeit:||About 119 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
Since ten years the Senegalese Samba (Omar Sy) already lives in Paris. Not quite legal, but inconspicuous and well integrated. He keeps himself afloat with odd jobs and tries to avoid any form of anger. But when his diligence and reliability finally seem to pay off and he is offered a permanent position, the dream of a legal life in France threatens to finally burst. The responsible office denies him the necessary papers and immediately sends Samba to deportation prison. The inexperienced social worker Alice (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is now supposed to help him to stay in Paris. Too bad that this is the first case of the extremely thin-skinned woman who has no idea how the mills of bureaucracy grind. And although her dedicated colleagues give her many good tips, Alice is so fascinated by the charismatic Samba that she makes a blatant mistake during the first conversation and gives him her phone number. But although he is very taken with the fact that Alice doesn't seem to be one of the usual hypothermic clerks, the chances that his deportation request will still be stopped are now dropping towards zero…
With "Heute bin ich Samba" the directing duo Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache finally present the long-awaited successor to their surprise success "Ziemlich beste Freunde". Of course, the expectations of the new movie are extremely high. And although they again have their wonderful leading actor Omar Sy on board, they unfortunately do not manage to live up to these admittedly exaggerated expectations. The biggest problem the movie has to struggle with is the fact that Toledano and Nakache obviously couldn't decide which story they wanted to tell here. Is the film supposed to be a romance between a psychologically burnt out temporary social worker and a charming dreamer? Or the story of the friendship between two migrants in Paris? Or rather a drama about the everyday struggle of many migrants in Europe against deportation?
In principle, it would not be a problem if the film consisted of these different set pieces and if the different parts of the story mixed comedic, dramatic and romantic aspects. But since none of the elements works really well on its own, the overall picture also leaves a rather disappointing impression. The staging loses itself in worn clichés and unfinished narrative threads too much for the viewer to ever be really carried away by the story. Sure, there are some wonderful moments between Samba and his friend Wilson (Tahar Rahim). Scenes like the one in which Samba tries his hand at Wilson's side as a window cleaner have the entertaining quality of "Ziemlich beste Freunde". But unfortunately such moments are in short supply. In large parts the events are governed by rippling trifles. This is a pity, because in many cases it is recognizable that there are very nice ideas here, which are simply not allowed to unfold.
When Omar Sy is again allowed to perform a great dance interlude to the racy soul music, it becomes clear how much the filmmakers are torn back and forth between the temptation to repeat the recipe for success of "Ziemlich beste Freunde" and try something completely new, and have finally decided on a middle course that simply doesn't work. This doesn't make "Today I am Samba" a bad movie. There are too many successful moments for that - however small they may be. It's just a pity that the very beautiful and especially in this time also important movie, which hides somewhere in the overloaded and indecisive jumble, doesn't get the chance to unfold its full potential. And that's why there's only one disappointing thing here: With some cutbacks just worth seeing!
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