Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Les Misérables

I went to see Les Mis last night. I remember attempting to read the book when I was a very young teenager, and only being hopelessly confused by it, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I do love musicals quite a bit, but this wasn't like any I've seen before. I'm still digesting, and mind that I've only seen it once, but so far my main impression of it/feelings about it sound something like this:
(grumpy cat face)

Seriously, all the miserable-ness pretty much guarantees that will be the one and only time I ever see it. My poor sappy heart probably can't handle another viewing! It's even more tragic than Hamlet!

I checked out some blogs about it, to see what other people were saying, and I found this one I quite like: Les Miserables: The Most Lutheran Musical EVER

What really broke my heart (after Fantine and É!) was Javert. Before I went to the movie, I heard some bashing of Russell Crowe's singing abilities, and so I was expecting something along the lines of Pierce Brosnan in Mama Mia, but I was pleasantly surprised by his portrayal. (Although it probably helps that I don't have any other performance of Javert to compare Crowe's to!)

I think I'm probably the only person on the planet who had NO idea about Javert's fate, but to avoid spoilers just in case, I'll only say I nearly jumped out of my skin! But the saddest thing about the whole movie was that in the end, despite having grace demonstrated to him by Valjean, Javert was SO enslaved to the law, he couldn't even begin to comprehend grace, and he took the terrible action that he did. Just...SO SAD.

I also had the impression that the movie had a lot of emphasis on works-based eternal life, although now in hindsight I can't pinpoint exactly what gave me that impression. Feel free to comment! :)

Also, the 'comedic relief' wasn't really that funny...I just sort of felt sorry for the Thénardiers and their rather pathetic life. I was also acutely aware of the irony of that fact that they regularly (literally...) robbed their customers blind, and yet never felt the weight of the law, whereas Valjean stole a loaf of bread and suffered for it for the rest of his life! Where's the justice there, Javert?!

I'm used to musicals having dance numbers, so I was a bit disappointed that the only dancing in this one was a few seconds at the wedding near the end. What's up with that?!

And in closing...Anne Hathaway had better win an Oscar for her HEART-RENDING portrayal of Fantine. I was exhausted by the end of her solo - I can only imagine how she felt!

There has been a lot of emotion in this blog post. The Dowager Countess of Grantham would not approve. I'm going to make tea now...


Shelli Nishino-Fayle said...

Okay - I love how you chose a Japanese theatrical poster for Les Mis!!!! Well done!

MichelleH said...

I saw it on Pinterest before I even saw the movie, and it really caught my eye! :)