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Monsieur Ibrahim (Version française)

Omar Sharif , Pierre Boulanger , François Dupeyron    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:DVD
"This is the first time I've seen you rent a foreign language film on your own", said my wife, knowing I usually need heckling to watch something without frequent explosions or some sci-fi "high concept". I think that after recently reviewing I, Robot, Harry Potter III and The Day After Tomorrow I needed a change of pace and watching this beautiful film was a thoroughly pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening.
This is a coming-of-age movie set in 1960s Paris about a young Jewish boy, Moses (Momo), with a rapidly-dwindling immediate family and his burgeoning friendship with local Sufi Muslim corner shop keeper, the titular Monsieur Ibrahim. The kid is charming but probably won't be changing any of your prejudices about French teenagers when he becomes the local prostitutes' favourite and romances the girl next door.
Sharif shines as Ibrahim, coming on like the friendly uncle you never had, dispensing sage advice to young Momo just when he needs it most. And although there is tragedy lurking behind both protagonists' lives, the film is never maudlin and raises your spirits at the most unlikely times. There are also many gently comic moments such as the menu Momo and Ibrahim put together for Momo's vindictive father or trying to buy a new car with cash. People in the film tend to receive their karmic comeuppance without it seeming too forced or far-fetched.
This is a moving, gentle film about the importance of friendship and spirituality. Although set some forty years ago, the message you get at the end is that these things are just as important today and the cyclic nature of history. I thoroughly recommend this film who feels they've overdosed on Hollywood lately and wants a different kind of escapism and assurance on human nature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it - this is a true depiction of sufism July 16 2004
Format:DVD
Don't get me wrong this is not a religious movie but the undercurrent of religion flows through out the movie. This is the true depiction of Islam as not taught by the Baptist church. Islam has a very soft side and we fail to see it but the movie does a wonderful depiction of Sufism. Omar Sharif does wonders with his role - you has seen the young Omar Sharif and now it is time for the old Omar Sharif. He has a class which puts him heads and shoulders above rest of the actors and this movie is no different. Pierre Boulanger has also given us an extremely mature performance. Photography is excellent. The back ground music just binds all these together. Omar Sharif reminds me of the characters from Naguid Mahfouze's books.
this is about a French Jewish boy and his adopted father (notice not adopted son) Ibrahim - from inner city Paris to rural Turkey everything is in the palatte and they mix seamlessly. I just loved it. If you have liked Cinema Paradiso then you will love this movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars SHARIF STILL HAS IT IN SPADES.. July 11 2004
Format:DVD
Monsieur Ibrahim could have so easily been played out as a timid father-son buddy flick, but while it is not a singularly unusual tale, it does carry a decent measure of frolic and sentiment.
Sharif as an elderly Muslim immigrant grocer in Paris knocks one out of the park with his bravura performance. His charisma is infectious as he spews aphorisms left and right. And his counterpart, a young boy going astray, does a poignant turn of coming of age. As he explores his budding sexuality and navigates the trials of his first love, he comes into the sphere of the elderly grocer's friendship and some interesting interactions ensue.
The first 60% of the movie contains several small pleasures, including the boy's interaction with "worker" women , the way he and the grocer play trivial tricks on his father, his infatuation with a local girl, and his trip to buy a new car. Unfortunately, the movie pretty much loses its way after that, as the two protagonists take to the road for a trip to Turkey.
The ending is ambiguous in an unsatisfying way, and, although there is a definitive denouement, I left the film not seeming to care as much about the fates of the protagonists as I would have liked to.
Yet, for its enthralling views of Turkey and the fun histrionics of Sharif, I'd surely recommend this as a decent rental. One wonders if it would stand to a second viewing though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet Wisdom July 8 2004
By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
MONSIEUR IBRAHIM AND THE FLOWERS OF THE KORAN is an exquisite little film. The story is rather simple on the surface: a 16 year old Jewish boy (Moses Schmitt in an extraordinary portrayal by Pierre Boulanger) is coming of age on Blue Street in Paris (a street that features prostitutes plying their wares) in the late 1950s - early 1960s. His mother deserted both his distant and damaged father (Gilbert Melki) and Moses very early in life and Moses must find his way into adulthood on his own - until he gets to know the 'Arab' (actually an elder Muslim) at the corner grocery (Monsieur Ibrahim brilliantly brought to glowing life by Omar Sharif). To survive, Moses 'shoplifts' food until M. Ibrahim tells him to take what he wants, knowing that his father deprives him of nearly everything. The old man is as gentle and calm and serene ("I know what is in my Koran") as Moses is angry and eager to taste life. Moses uses saved pennies to buy his first sexual encounter with one of the prostitutes and is gradually befriended by many of the 'heart of gold' streetwalkers. Slowly Moses and M. Ibrahim are bond and when Moses' father deserts him and commits suicide, M. Ibrahim adopts him, buys a sporty little car and the two are off on a road trip to Turkey (Ibrahim's Persian home). As the two bond the boy learns much from the spiritually aware old man and we, as the observers, learn much about the differences and similarities of Judaism, Islam, pantheism, and all manifestations of spirtuality. The ending is somewhat predictable but that doesn't diminish the impact of the film. This burnished atmosphere of trust and love is magic in the hands of Director Francois Dupeyron and the performances by Sharif and Boulanger are beautifully nuanced and understated. Read more ›
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