Related Articles: Movies, All

Monsieur Ibrahim

One of life's paradoxes is that a happy existence can be primarily composed of tragic events. So is the case for Momo (Pierre Boulanger), a teenager growing up in Montmarte, a town just outside Paris. Living with a reclusive father who constantly reminds him that he compares unfavorably to his elder brother, Momo chooses to spend most of his day alone, peering out the window onto the bustling streets of the town below.

Forced to search elsewhere for love, he turns to the whores who line the streets in front of the modest flat he calls home. And though he begins as their customer, Momo charms them by placing them on a pedestal rather than dismissing them as prostitutes. However, it is the local shopkeeper Ibrahim (Omar Sharif) with whom he develops the closest bond. A casual friendship develops through Momo's daily visits to the store, but gradually he realizes that Ibrahim may know the one lesson he is truly interested in learning: contentment.

This is a movie that embodies the cliché: "more than the sum of its parts". Taken individually, the plot would seem implausible, the dialogue contrived and the conclusion haphazard. However, the natural familiarity between Ibrahim and Moses carries the film past its deficiencies, creating a believable story that warms you throughout.

Stars: 3.5 out of 5