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El Paris, a town located somewhere uncertain, but in our time. Quasimodo is hunchbacked, bald, deaf. He takes size 47 in shoes and is contented. However, 20 years ago, his destiny was stolen from him: his parents, finding him too ugly, entrusted him to the fundamentalist arch-deacon of the town, Frollo and had him replaced by a Cuban girl, Esméralda. Now terror reigns in El Paris: a serial killer is lurking, 18 women have been killed. The head of police, Phoebus, erotomaniac and incompetent, leads the investigation in his beautiful, shiny 4-wheel drive. Quasimodo is the prime suspect, although he is innocent. Frollo has only one aim: to find out the truth (or is he?). Esméralda has only one aim: to compensate Quasimodo. Quasimodo has only one aim: to ring the bells on time. Phoebus has only one aim: to polish his car.Written by
L.H. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It's sad to see that such a film has been widely mistaken with a "non funny comedy" in France and elsewhere. Timsit maybe managed to make the first french comedy in a "ZAZ" style, which is very unusual in french cinema. Gags in the back of the scene, stupid dialogues told by very serious actors... does it remind you of something? Richard Berry as Frollo reminds me a lot of the way Leslie Nielson plays his characters in "Airplane" or "The Naked Gun": deadly serious and absurd at the same time! I think that the film loses a lot of its impact when dubbed in English or subtitled, principally because the dialogue is full of french slang. The screenplay is very close to the original novel by Victor Hugo, and it's surprising that a pure comedy may be the best adaptation of the "real" story of the Hunchback. I think that this movie will stay in the hearts of french ZAZ and Saturday Night Live fans as one of the first examples of a "french American humor mix".
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