In winter, the world premiere of a remake of the famous film “Toy” in 1976 took place. The Focus correspondent compared both tapes: is it worth watching the “New Toy”, how history has changed, whether the actors have coped – in our review.
Who replaced Pierre Richard in “The New Toy”
Let’s start with the main thing – a new toy is played by Jamel Debbuz (the family came to France from Morocco), a fairly well-known actor in France. He starred in two parts of “Asterix”, has an award at the Cannes Film Festival, and in his youth he even managed to light up in “Amelie”. It should also be mentioned that Jamel does not use his right hand, which he injured at the age of 14.
To be honest, I was afraid. I was afraid that this was a casting failure and I would turn off the film in 15-20 minutes. But no, it turned out to be a success! Debbuze just fit perfectly into the role, and by the 15th minute, on the contrary, you understand that the film was a success and you need to watch it to the end. The main actor jokes very organically, behaves in comical and dramatic situations. True, the story of the main character is now a little different. WARNING – there are SPOILERS below.
French trailer with English subtitles, there is also a Russian translation of the film
A rogue instead of a loser – how the image of the protagonist of “Toys” has changed
In general, the plot of the first “Toys” is repeated. The son of a rich man “buys” a person in the form of a toy in the store. In the first part, it was a journalist in need of work and a loser. In “The New Toy” – this is also a temporarily unemployed man who got a job as a security guard in a shopping center and fell asleep at his post.
But if the hero of Pierre Richard was an honest man who was broken by circumstances, then the hero of Jamel Debbuza was initially a rogue. He sells teapots with two spouts in the market. They are confiscated by the police due to their high lead content. At home – debts, a pregnant wife. By the way, we will be introduced to the troublesome family and the area where the hero lives in detail. And this is an obvious plus of the film.
Once in the rich man’s house, our hero very quickly agrees to be a “toy”, having heard a fee of 2,000 euros per day, 14,000 euros per week. Moreover, when the moment happens that the son of a rich man must be sent to a summer camp and the payment may be lost, the rogue tries to make sure that the boy’s trip does not take place.
However, in the rest – the process of re-education of a rich son is in the outline of the first film, given the technical and moral aspects that have changed over 47 years.
“New Toy” and “Toy”: comedies with social overtones
For all its comedy, “Toy” was originally a drama. After all, the rich man “bought” not only Richard in the form of a toy. He also controlled the fate of his subordinates or random people from whom he bought a house.
L’Express wrote back in 1976 that the film was a great way to combine comedy with drama.
In Novaya Igrushka, an entire plant is on the verge of being laid off. And in the initiative group of protests is the wife of the protagonist. Thus, at some point, comedy develops into drama.
Here’s what the director of the film, James Ute, has to say about it in an interview with Montreal Magazine:
“While rewatching the film (Toy” – ed.), I saw a caustic satire … I realized that the themes of the first film are much more relevant today. I mean, in particular, the social gap, the phenomenon of child kings, the place of money in our life…
Imagine that you are offered a salary of 14,000 euros a week so that you can play with a child who has all the possible games in the castle, you would be fed and sheltered … Who would refuse this today?
… Money drives a person crazy and directs him. It is time for man to lead society again, bringing human relationships back to the fore. That’s what we wanted to say with this new reading of Weber’s work (director and screenwriter of the first Toy – ed.). In a way, it’s an idealistic film.”
As a result, the story has developed both as a comedy and as a social film. However, the assessment of the economic situation is shown somewhat idealistically. But here everyone will draw their own conclusion.
In the film “The New Toy”, the process of re-education of a rich son follows the outline of the first film, taking into account the technical and moral aspects that have changed over 47 years.
My conclusion: unambiguous 7-8 points out of 10. The film must be seen. And especially try it if you liked the original. You will be able to compare, note the differences – before criticizing. European critics rated “New Toy” in the range of 6-7 points, while the first “Toy” steadily scored from 7.5 to 8.
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