Friday, January 18, 2013

Les Misérables: A Dream That Will Never Die

         I was thinking on how to start this film review but it seems that finding the right words is too hard and it’s most probably because of two things. First, words aren’t enough to describe it since almost everything in Les Mis is sung and second, I’m still at AWE with it that I’m careful on what to put in this post.
            Les Misérables is that film that you would like to see not merely for leisure’s sake but for something much deeper than that. It is that film where you would thank the author, Victor Hugo, for such a magnificent story. It’s that film that you could consider worthy of your penny. And it is definitely that film where you could sing, cry, and laugh all at the same time.
            Ever since I watched the 1998 version during my high school days the film never got out of my head. You may consider that an exaggeration but that’s how it is. That is why when I first heard that it will be revived with the direction of Tom Hooper, I was, by all odds, excited. What’s more exciting is that it’s adapted from the musical play so expect the characters to sing from finish to end. It’s not even to be compared to the first version since that was based from the novel.

What’s more exciting is that it’s adapted from the musical play so expect the characters to sing from finish to end.

           Now, to really begin with the review. Who doesn’t know the story of Jean Valjean and his road to redemption? The film, as stated earlier, is based from Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. It is a story that shows the life during the French Revolution. The film, on the other hand, perfectly captured that era from the costumes to cinematography and everything in between. Every single scene was shot just right, not overdid but also not mediocre. The overall filming was spectacular where you can feel that you were part of that era. The set is reminiscent and not an eyesore. Each costume and makeup brings out the character very well.
        Who would forget songs such as “I Dreamed A Dream” or “On My Own”? Well, not me! When I was younger I would sing these songs for days. While I was watching this film, I relived my childhood. Anyway, the thing about the film is that you could basically sing to every song or when you’re in the cinemas perhaps sing it in your head. Every song literally and figuratively tells a story.

Who would forget songs such as “I Dreamed A Dream” or “On My Own”?
           Of course, some revisions have been made from the 1998 version which came dramatic. Although that’s not something terrible, another thing I liked about this new version is that it has a comic relief (just like the play). The characters are utterly MISERABLE but because of the funniness of some scenes you would not help but laugh.

           Lastly, the actors are WELL-PICKED. I could’ve not chosen another set of actors to play the characters. Hugh Jackman playing Jean Valjean could make him bag the Oscar award for Best Actor. No offense meant, but I think he even made it past Liam Neeson. Anne Hathaway as Fantine was remarkable. Those famous lines from I Dreamed A Dream being sung by her makes the song and everything a lot more emotional. Russell Crowe, who played Javert, was quite promising and his voice was an eargasm. I was looking out for his scenes. J Amanda Seyfried as Cosette is another must-watch. Know for her great singing prowess from Mama Mia she steps up in this film. Helena Bonham Carter is no doubt is in her element as Madame Thenardier. Sacha Baron Cohen (who is popularly known as Borat) was also fun to watch as Thenardier. Eddie Redmayne, who played Marius also stood up to the expectations of the crowd. But the greatest surprise was Samantha Bark who played Eponine as well in the play. She is someone to watch out for (I cried when she sang On My Own). The child actor, Isabelle Allen, who played young Cosette was also remarkable! Plus, the priest who helped Jean Valjean in the beginning was actually the one who played Jean Valjean in The Dream Cast in Concert a.k.a Les Misérables in Concert. Anyway, every single actor played their roles well. Their singing abilities is something that shouldn’t be questioned.
           The only thing that I hate about the film is that it was too short. L I secretly hoped that they could prolong the events so I could enjoy their voices. But to sum it all, I don’t have anything to complain about the film.
         The story has become part of my life a long time ago and I’m sure this film would too. You’d get three things from the film: an education, a song and a tale. You will be thought of the French lives during those days. You will carry the songs forever. And you will tell the eternal tale of Jean Valjean who sought for redemption.
           Now if you’re planning to watch in theaters, make sure you bring your shades with you…so nobody would notice how much the film made you such a crybaby and how it struck you deeply in the heart. 

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