Sunday, December 30, 2012

Les Miserables 2012

   I just saw Les Miserables in the movie theater last night and the first words out of my mouth were "Wow! That was awesome!" and it was.  It is one of the best films I've seen in a long time.  I was surprised there weren't more people clapping at the end, but as the title would suggest it was a sober film.  I was clapping because it was so successfully executed and I found the end uplifting even though the typical happy ending was not there.  I haven't seen the stage production, but the film put together elements I haven't seen combined before and it was done so well. 

   It was not a typical musical--it was a freaking opera!  There was literally hardly a word spoken, so that nearly everything was told through song.  At first I was put off, but soon I understood what was being done.  It was not a typical opera obviously being in English and also because it was done by actors, which was the best part.  I felt that each song was also a true soliloquy and while the actor's voice were not opera quality, they had a honest quality which conveyed such emotion.  I congratulate all the actors who took part because it was as much acting as it was singing and union of the two here was new. 

   The performances were excellent all around, but a few are worth mentioning.  Position one goes to Samantha Bark, who plays Eponine, her scenes are fantastic!  She hits the nail right on the head!  She plays the unrequited love interest to Marius, played by Eddie Redmayne, who is in love with Cosette.  The other big surprise was Sacha Baron Cohen, whose comedy I usually don't care for, as "Master of the House" he was hilarious yet he played the sleazy villain well.  He and Helena Bonham Carter did a fine job of introducing villainous comic relief while not doing so in a manner that was out of character with the film.  Finally, Hathaway, Jackman and Crowe brought home the goods.  Crowe seemed a bit tight, but then so is the character Javert. 

   If I have any criticisms it is that the first part of the story is covered too quickly and Javert's character, which is a rich one, could have been developed a little better.  Aside from this it was great!


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