- Anne of Green Gables

Kindred Spirits

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Les Miserables: Justice, Redemption, Love and Hope

For a special day, I went to go see a movie... Les Miserables. It was fantastic, it was wrenching, it was pitiful... but there was hope, hope that things would get better. And there was the strong, beautiful message of salvation. I don't think I've cried over a story that much in a long time, if ever. The way the songs were sung, it pulled at you. It made you want to just help. But you can't... you just have to sit and let the story play out. :) This movie made me think of the quote from LoTR:

"some die that deserve life, and some live that deserve death."

Now... onto the review, opinions, etc. ;)

Prisoner 24601, known as Jean Valjean, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert. His promise to a dying woman to adopt and care for her only child, a little girl, makes for life-changing experiences. Set in post-revolutionary France, the story reaches resolution against the background of the June Rebellion.  

Val Jean as a regular citizen
Val Jean as a convict
Jean Val Jean... played by Hugh Jackman did an excellent job. From the first scene of the convicts straining to pull in the ship, and singing "Look Down", I could tell this was going to be good. Hugh Jackman was able to portray the guilt, grief, anger, and repentance of his character with style. He made me cry... especially at the end. If you have or are going to see this and don't cry at the end, then you might as well have a heart of stone. ;) It was different seeing Jackman singing, but he has a voice to boast of. He was a very good choice for the character of Val Jean all around.

Pulling in the ship.

Naturally we will next go to the antagonist of Val Jean... enter Javert. Russel Crowe plays this *ahem* aggravating person. I must say I really like Crowe as an actor. Only this was much different as Crowe was playing the despicable Javert and it was a singing part. His part may have been a little bit high for him in parts (I've heard some people complain on this), but his voice occasionally straining kind of mirrored him straining to catch Val Jean in a way. However annoying and despicable (and a bit sympathetic) this character may be he DID make me cry... the part with little Gavroche. *SOOOBBB!*

I only wish Val Jean could have found Fantine sooner. *sniff*

As probably almost everyone knows, Anne Hathaway plays Fantine. In the first scene she's in she is so beautiful in that cute pink dress... until the unthinkable. Wouldn't you agree? I must say, Miss Hathaway delivered "I Dreamed A Dream" in a way I have never seen before... she got the idea of crushed hope, shame, misery and everything across to the listener so clearly. She did such a beautiful job portraying poor pitiful sweet Fantine. I wish things would have been different for Fantine... and I hate what that manager did to her. UGH... how despicable

Good job to whoever the costume person was... this dress fits Hathaway's complexion so well. :)
I really like Cosette in this picture... except for her bonnet. Since it's obviously  not shading her face, what's the purpose? :)
Amanda Seyfried plays the older Cosette. She has such a beautiful soprano voice! I was pleasantly surprised. I think my favorite song she sings in is "A Heart Full of Love". Her and Marius' voices blend together so beautifully. Oh and of course when *ahem* happens in the end scene... well, I cried. When she's begging Val Jean to try. I only wish she would have been told of Val Jean's past. I think she loved him enough to where she would have forgiven him on the spot.

Isabelle Allen is the young Cosette. She is so adorably pitiful. Thank goodness for Val Jean finding her. I loved her in the "Castle on a Cloud" song. How Thenardier's do what they did, those... well, I'm not to them yet. ;) I hope to see Isabelle in more movies.

I'm so glad Val Jean got to be a father... his care of Cosette is so sweet. :)

Samantha Barks was said to not have enough emotion for the part of Eponine... well, she had enough to satisfy me. What she does for Marius, even though he doesn't love her back, is so sweet. And Samantha has this beautiful voice... she has amazing range. I really pity Eponine though. She deserved better than she got.

Little Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone)was perhaps one of the most sorrowful little characters. Oh you just want to hug him, and care for him. Young Mr. Huttlestone promptly stole my heart... and then broke it, in the afore mentioned part with Javert. His way of singing was so pure and childlike... he did a wonderful job.

The future scene of the song "Empty Tables, Empty Chairs"
Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) was not my favorite character (I know that some of you will hate me for saying that). He was too fixated on revolution (however necessary it was)... to the point he told Marius to forget Cosette. He was kind of annoying. And I don't really like Aaron's voice. Although...

*dodges items being thrown in my general direction*

Hey! I said "although"! It means there's one thing I do like about him. It's his song "Red & Black", which is one of my top 5 favorite songs out of the whole movie. :)

Enjolras and Marius
I can't believe this guy's 31... he's such a babyface. :)
Okay, so while I didn't really like Enjolras, I do like Marius played by Eddie Redmayne. His singing voice is one of my favorites of the whole movie. His "Empty Tables, Empty Chairs"... that was once again... so sad and pitiful. He was perfect for romantic, dreamy, emotional Marius. :) Plus his and Cosette's voice blended splendidly... plus they looked good together. ;)

Despicable Thenardiers

The Thenardiers have been left for last... and with a reason. I don't like them. ;) Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen played this twisted couple. They are much needed comic relief, and Carter and Cohen do a fabulous job playing a couple of wackos... which isn't too surprising, given who the actors are. :)

I REALLY loved the story of redemption in this. Even though it's called Les Miserables, and yes, it's about people in miserable situations, it's really about how those people tried to make the best (if not change) the situation.

Justice, Redemption, Love, and Hope. That's a very apt description of the whole story.

Pros: The story of redemption is sublime. The love story is pure and sweet. This is a a moving, realistic  amazing bit of storytelling. Every bit as good as a Dicken's story. They don't really show much of anything when Fantine becomes a prostitute.

Negatives: Some language, esp on the part of the Thenardiers... which is reflecting their gruesome personalities.

So anyway... to sum up.

My rating: 4 3/4 stars
Ages: 16 on up is a safe idea
Would I watch it again/buy it? YES!! :D
And yes, I would recommend this movie. :)

How many of you have watched this, and what are your thoughts?


mikailah said...

oh, heyheyhey! :) Stephanie is posting again! ;) i love your movie reviews.

great review, girl! i haven't seen this one, but i reallyreallyreally want to. it looks amazing. :)


mikailah said...

How do you get your quotes in boxes like that, by the way? :) I've been wondering how people do that...

Stephanie said...

Haha... yes, I know it's been too long between posts. I should work on that more. :)

How to get block quotes: When you're writing a post up at the top there's the area where you can add a picture, add a link, change text, ect. Well, up there (on the right) there's a button that shows quotation marks, you click on that and then type in the post area what you want to be in block quotes. Hope this helps... or if it doesn't and you need more help, I can do a post on it. :)