Sunday, January 20, 2013

Les Miserables is Tres Magnifique

One of my favorite musicals of all time is Les Miserables. I first heard of its soundtrack when I was in college. I borrowed a CD from my cousin, Balu. So, it's just fitting that I see the 2012 movie version of it with him. Actually, it was Martha's treat. ;-p

This film blew me away! The first time Hugh Jackman's gaunt face jumped from the screen, I knew I will love every second of this two-hour-and-forty-five-minute long movie. What I didn't expect was ten minutes into it and I was bawling like a madman. I love Jackman's portrayal of Jean Valjean's inner struggles in 'What Have I Done' and 'Who Am I'. I can see clearly how conflicted he is. I feel his frustration and pain. I wasn't a fan of Jackman before but I am now.

These first few scenes set the tone for the duration of the movie. The cinematography is superb. It emanates the characters' aloneness and the darkness of their reality. Anne Hathaway's 'I Dreamed a Dream' and 'Come to Me' made me scrounge for my hanky again. She sang it un-Broadway-like. I think she nailed Fantine's destitute and hopeless situation. 

I would have given this movie full marks except for Russell Crowe's (Inspector Javert) seemingly lacking performance. Don't get me wrong, I like his rendition of 'Stars' and 'Javert's Suicide', but in my mind I still see him as the 'Gladiator'. He wasn't pompous enough as Javert for me to hate him. I was also disappointed with Samantha Barks' (Eponine) 'On My Own' and I was really looking forward to that bit. She was better, though, in 'Little Fall of Rain'. I also like their 'One Day More' and the finale song, they gave me goosebumps.

I am always moved whenever I listen to Les Miserables' powerful yet haunting melodies and it's grief-filled lyrics. But to see it translated this way is short of perfection.  If I were to rate it via hankies, I'd say 4.5/5. I mean, that's how many you'll need! Seriously!


1 comment:

Martha said...

Bravo for this film! I am floored by Hugh Jackman's 'What Have I Done' and Anne Hathaway's 'I Dreamed a Dream'. Very chilling performances.

It made me cry, too but nothing like the sobbing mess sitting next to me. Haha! :) Just kidding. I know you loved the musical way before and it touched you dearly. Thanks for rubbing some of it on me, sis!

Great review! x