The 2012 film, Les Miserables (based on the musical), is a one of a kind, inspirational movie that has so much to offer.
I hadn’t seen the musical before viewing this movie, but I had heard some of the music itself. Being a fan of musicals such as Sweeney Todd, The Producers, or the television show, Glee, I went into watching this movie with an open mind, and in all honesty, some high expectations.
What’s it about: Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is an ex convict who had originally been imprisoned for stealing bread (set in the early 1800’s). He is on parole and is always at risk of running into Javert (Russell Crowe), a strict police inspector who doesn’t let anything slide. After attempted thievery from a Bishop, Valjean is convinced to turn his life around. He eventually comes to own his own factory in a town where he makes something of himself.
Continued…During an incident (or discovery really) one day in his factory, the Foreman lets go one of the female workers, Fantine (Anne Hathaway), leaving her with limited options for money, and eventually going into prostitution. Valjean, feeling sympathetic and guilty, later comes to rescue her, only to find that she has been harmed by a customer. In the hospital, Valjean promises Fantine that he will take care of her daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried).
Let’s jump right in!
Pros: This film deserved only the best when it came to casting, and it got it. The level of drama is nearly chaotic, so good acting couldn’t be more important than it is to this film. Thinking back to so many movies and shows, I’m not sure what could comparably stack up to Les Miserables in terms of not only acting, but music and plot as well. If you know the musical, then you already know that the music is not just amazing, but very fitting to the scenes that particular songs are attached to. We not only see the characters, but hear them sing their very thoughts and feelings. How exquisite it is to watch a movie that has ever so relevant, heartfelt, passionate, intense, epic music accompanying what we see! Lastly, I’d just like to mention the emotional vibe that this movie emits as you’re viewing it. Having nearly all the right cinematic aspects, connecting to this film isn’t difficult.
Cons: Unfortunately though, I was only praising the music and lyrics alone, not the actual singing. While this movie exceeds expectations in acting, it counter attacks with lack of musical talent. I must bring to light, more specifically, Anne Hathaway’s role as Fantine. The song “I Dreamed a Dream” is one of my favorites and gives me chills just thinking about it. Anne Hathaway murdered this song with singing that was overpowered by her dramatic acting. Her acting simply got in the way of the song. Thank god her over all performance was impressive, because it did at least make up for the singing issue. Hugh Jackman on the other hand, surprised me with his decently tuned vocals. He may not be the best, but his singing talent was indeed, suitable for the film.
My rating: 90% If you like musicals, especially those of a more dramatic nature, then you should fall in love with Les Miserables. And hopefully, unlike me, you’ll appreciate the singing more.
Thank you for reading.