Posted on 4/19/13 06:42 PM
An Amazing Musical
Musicals in my opinion are a very difficult genre: you can either get everything right, or everything wrong. For me, Les Miz got everything, mostly, right.
Les Miz was a wonderful experience. It consisted of an excellent story, beautiful cinematography, and superb singing and acting.
The story takes place in Nineteenth Century France, years after the French Revolution, and follows the story of Jean Valjean, a prisoner convicted for stealing bread. We see Jean as he finds redemption, becomes a new man, helps a poor prostitute, takes care of her daughter, and escapes from the wrath of Javert, a policeman who's had it out for Jean ever since he was released. We also see Jean forming part of a second revolution, saving the love of his daughter's life, and learning to let go.
Hugh Jackman's performance is truly admirable in this picture. You get to see him in a truly deep and moving performance as Jean Valjean, the selfless soul who is the spirit of this movie. Second to him is only Anne Hathaway, the factory worker who after being discovered having a daughter, gets fired from her job. The only way she finds of making money to send to her daughter Corsette is by taking on the life of a prostitute. Hathaway makes you feel truly sorry for her character, in every scene she's in you feel your heart strings pulled for this poor woman. It's a pity her performance lasted so little, but she comes back at the very end. I must say, the final scene is one of the most moving I have ever seen.
Asides from Hugh and Anne, the rest of the cast does a fine job aswell. I particularly liked the performance by Samantha Barks. She lights up the screen and her scenes are some of the saddest in the movie. Russell Crowe, as usual, gives a great performance here. I liked his Javert, although at the very beginning, his singing was the most awkward of the whole cast. But as the movie goes on, he improves dramatically. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are just a whole lot of fun, their scenes bring out all the laughs in this movie. Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried are great aswell, and its nice to see Amanda outside the typical Rom-Com role. Redmayne's voice however is rather strange and it's difficult to listen to him without almost laughing at the way he belts out his songs.
Some of the song highlights for this movie were I Dreamed a Dream, On My Own, Look Down, At The End of the Day, Suddenly, Bring Him Home, Stars, and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables.
Simply an excellent movie. Fans of musicals will hardly be disappointed. Now, this is a musical more along the lines of Evita than let's say Moulin Rouge, as there is few to none spoken dialogue which makes it more difficult to follow at times. It is also very awkward hearing the first portion of this film, you have to wait to get used to it before it finally sinks in. The fact that it is fully sung means it needs your full attention aswell, or you'll miss important details. Overall though, it's hard not to enjoy such a beautiful picture.