Les Miserables

Review by Lilly M


Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption-a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Ex-prisoner Jean Valjean is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. It is a great but tragic story.

Les Miserables did not have the magic expected in a musical as this is one genre which never failed before and it failed in this movie. The adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel to stage has been one of the finest things happened to Broadway but adapting the Broadway play to a movie did not work.

What saved the movie are the performances of the actors. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway gave the best performances. Parts of the movie is a drag at times and seem unfocused, but the characters and Jean Valjean and Javert are so developed that you could not help but sit through two and a half hours of non-stop singing.

The movie is excruciatingly long but it is satisfying. The story is really captivating so with the sets and the singing of some of the actors. Every performer did an outstanding job with their numbers maybe except for Russell Crowe.

The film has big names with familiarity in the storyline but it lacks great vocalists to draw the interest of viewers. A musical movie should be made with not just actors but actors who can sing.

The decision of having the actors sing on-screen may be the best way to translate musicals to the screen but after a while it made each song feel exhausting to sit through. That being said, “Les Miserables” is a beautiful movie that contains some of the years’ best performances.

 

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11 Responses to Les Miserables

  1. Adelle says:

    Congratulations to Anne Hathaway for winning the Best Supporting Actress in the Oscars.

  2. Joan W says:

    It has a great ending and Les Mis’ is a beautiful and well made musical movie.

    I will say that the acting, costumes, and sets were good. However the movie did no justice to the book.

  3. Erica says:

    Les Misérables is an excellent and emotional movie and the performances are captivating specially Anne Hathaway with her version of “I Dreamed a Dream” better I think than the rendition of Susan Boyle.

  4. James B says:

    A powerful and uplifting film, this is a brilliant movie that is enhanced by the superb performances.

  5. Dolly M. says:

    I have not seen the play but Les Miserables the movie is way too long for me.

    It is hard to watch the movie, all dialogues are sang which I don’t understand why. Musical movies doesn’t have to be 100% singing.

  6. Willy H says:

    There is too much poor singing. There isd too much levity for so much misery in the story. A proportional desperation for the times is sorely lacking. Marius’ desertion of the cause was truly ignoble. I’ve never seen the musical itself so I don’t know if is the movie or the story that is the epic fail. I stayed for the whole move and found it to be tedious to the end.

  7. Sal says:

    On Broadway the actors sing as though they are talking and in Hollywood they talk as though they are singing. It is a little disappointing to go to a musical with sub par singing. The story line is beautiful and it is uplifting but it could have been so much more.

  8. Jessica says:

    If you don’t mind the melodrama, Les Miserables is a fantastic film. A truly epic story. While the singing is sometimes not very good, the acting performances made up for it. We also have to keep in mind that the singing was recorded on set, which is hard to do.

  9. David M says:

    This adaption of the musical broke all expectations with the decision to record the actors singing live on set instead of pre-recorded and lip sync to polished studio recordings. The result is a raw emotional experience unlike anything capable on stage. Love the movie.

  10. Roseane says:

    Watching Les Miserables is like sitting in a dentist chair and having a root canal.

    Actors for musicals should be singers. They don’t have to be real singers but they should atleast can sing.

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