A popular stand-up comic from a working class French family balances fame, ambition, and expectations while feeling his loyalties pulled between his manager-brother and artistic-director girlfriend.
The Price of Success
Brahim (Tahar Rahim) is France's hottest comic, selling out stand-up shows and fielding countless movie offers. His brother, Mourad (Roschdy Zem), is also his long-time manager. The two grew up poor in Paris' migrant suburbs but now, as the spotlight grows brighter on Brahim, it's getting harder to see Mourad standing off in the wings. And there's a crowd of new people around this charming young talent as well — showbiz people looking to cash in, and his girlfriend, Linda (acclaimed actor and director Maïwenn), an actor drawn to Brahim's creative spark. She'd rather not be part of the rich, white privilege she represents for him, but as Brahim crosses into the mainstream, he has to choose who stays and who goes.
Tahar Rahim himself shot to fame on the heels of his starring role in Jacques Audiard's A Prophet. Here, he imbues his performance with the depth and texture of a man navigating unfamiliar waters every day, shifting sometimes from confidence to uncertainty in an instant. Zem is terrific as the brother who prizes loyalty above all else. His Mourad supported and promoted Brahim for 15 years, but is he now thinking too small? Too Arab? Too immigrant? And is he willing to let go of the brother who has defined his life?
New fame, new wealth, and new choices always afflict new generations of entertainers. Rarely has a film explored this drama with such insight, humour, and heart. Teddy Lussi-Modeste directs The Price of Success at a brisk, engaging pace that sets the film up as pure entertainment, though it also has a lot to say.