Rainer's Review of Les Misérables
If I could appreciate musicals I very well might even like Les Mis.
Fact is though, I hate the genre. Musicals are the kind of films I just can't get into. Why should a normal person in a regular environment (and film as a medium gives us the illusion of a naturalistic environment - it's the main twist of the whole art form) just start singing for no apparent reason.
In Les Mis though, they avoid breaking from dialogue into singing because there is just no dialogue. It's only singing - for two and a half hours. Shoot me, please!
Not only, that I just can't follow a plot if the ongoings are presented to me in vocals, I kinda don't get the point of the whole thing. It's a bit schizophrenic if you ask me to build huge sets and artificially make them look dirty (which didn't work too good either) and then destroy the naturalism by letting the actors sing all the time.
Anyways, it's at least a magnificent looking - well, thing. The cinematography is at times astonishing and although, as I pointed out in the previous paragraphs, the gritty thing didn't work that well, the cinematography sure does.
Performances are mostly decent, although Russell Crowe might be even a worse singer than Pierce Brosnan. I can't see the greatness in Anne Hathaway's performance either. I preferred Hugh Jackman's (I didn't realize he had it in him - but he plays stage musical as well as I learned) and Eddie Redmayne's (even more surprising than Jackman). Jackman's character Valjean is an über-good guy though. He is the John Wayne of musicals. So idealistic...
There are also some cool songs, I couldn't really fall in love with these speech songs that replace regular dialogue, but "Look Down" or "Do You Hear the People Sing" as well as "One Day More" are pretty awesome.
The end is emotional too. Anyways, no way, I could like this film. It was okay, as a background activity while ironing, but after I finished, I had to suffer for another hour and a half (this thing goes for two and a half hours - are you kidding me!!).
I think I rated it a bit too high anyways, but I guess it's not the fault of the filmmakers that I hate musicals.