Departing from the true story of Stephane Benhamou and Daoud Tatou who dedicated their lives to helping disadvantaged children who are abandoned by the system, The Specials tells the stories of special people properly, solidly, though not specifically. Directed at the same time written by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, similar to their biggest work, The Intouchables (2011), The Specials also appeared light, quite informative, although the quality of the manuscript was still the biggest problem.
The central figure is Bruno (Vincent Cassel) who runs the Voice of the Righteous organization, as an asylum for people with autism who are rejected by society. Even the system is not friendly to them. For 15 years, Voice of the Righteous operates without official certificates. The authorities began an investigation that was likely to lead to the dissolution of the organization. If so, what will happen to Bruno’s foster children? Best Movie Site
Whereas the hospital, which recognizes that their obligation to comply with the protocol often prevents autism sufferers from receiving assistance, often referring patients to an organization owned by Bruno who does not hesitate to apply the “out of the box” method. The government is trying to enforce regulations without providing alternative solutions. In contrast to Bruno who always said “I will find a solution”, even when in fact he was very inconvenient.
The Specials illustrates how chaotic Bruno is everyday. Even if he gets help from his best friend, Malik (Reda Kateb), who runs an organization called The Hatch that works to educate street children, things don’t feel easy for Bruno. The phone always rings, preventing him from enjoying personal things including dating. The chaos was represented by a tickling moment when a neighbor protested because of the noise from the apartment where Voice of the Righteous was treating autistic children.
The confusion that unfortunately also spreads to the way the script tells. The word “specials” in the title not only refers to people with autism, but also Bruno, Malik, and other caregiver teenagers, most of whom also have disadvantaged backgrounds. The Specials tried to highlight all these figures, which instead made the focus scattered. There is no character that is really dug deep. Movie Review
Dylan (Bryan Mialoundama) Malik’s most problematic student is actually quite interesting in the process of understanding autism while repairing himself, but he is like a friend we only meet in the office. Not the slightest we know of his personal life. Bruno automatically gets more portions, but his fate is not much different. As the character does not have the time to pay attention to personal matters, the audience will also have difficulty building intimacy with him. The weakness of this film related to the focus actually has been smelt since the opening scene that shows a girl with autism running hysterically in the middle of town. Some social workers tried to chase him. After that the girl was never seen again.
The casts played well, especially given the fact that their characters were not given a proper foundation by the script. Cassell is a protagonist who easily attracts sympathy through caring and affection, through how he tries to bury feelings of distress for foster children, through his awkwardness in front of women. The Specials also featured actors with autism, namely Benjamin Lesieur as Joseph, the boy who inspired Bruno to establish Voice of the Righteous. The Most Promising Actor nomination at the César Awards last February was well-deserved.
The Specials briefly discussed a number of issues, namely public fear of people with autism, mistaken perceptions of the developmental disorder (a mother believes her son is condemned), and as it has been said, about a less supportive system. Most are limited trinkets in passing, but when viewed as a new container of information for ordinary viewers, this film has performed its function. And similar to The Intouchables, Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano were able to warm the hearts of the audience through several montages accompanied by music from Grandbrothers, as well as uplifting conclusions that rewarded our willingness to spend time with the characters for nearly two hours. Top Movie