Those who thought The Darjeeling Limited had too much focus should check out The Untouchable, another movie in which a lost soul journeys to India on a spiritual quest that might have given Edward Said pause. French actor Jeanne (Le Besco) is initially inspired to search for the father she never knew, but her journey quickly turns into something altogether less coherent (and dramatic). Searching for a story, Jacquot pads the movie to feature length with ample footage of Le Besco in transit.
So long as Jeanne is in rehearsals and on set in France—and cinematographer Caroline Champetier works in the gray tones characteristic of compatriot Eric Gautier (Intimacy)—The Untouchable conjures an agreeably anxious atmosphere. In a briefly arresting scene on the flight, Jeanne chats with a member of India’s untouchable caste (Khan), who goes to the bathroom and never returns. But the movie reveals its pointlessness after Jeanne arrives in India, where Jacquot spends much time in thrall to the ostensible exoticism and the common language shifts to English, for which no one on set had any apparent ear. The Untouchable finally amounts to a travelogue without narration—an excuse for a vacation posing as a movie.