Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Ramblings on Les Miserables

Les Miserables
By: Victor Hugo

Summary (again, for those of you who are not theatre nerds...)

In this story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean--a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, and hounded by his nemesis, the magnificently realized, ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert--Hugo achieves the sort of rare imaginative resonance that allows a work of art to transcend its genre. (from goodreads)

My Ramblings:
Just yesterday I read this article from over at Jezebel about why Tweens/teens love Les Miserables so much despite it being such a dark and depressing show.  I think they nailed it. When I was in High School I loved this show. I thought it was beautiful and heartbreaking and by god did I love Eponine. She was smart and tough and could take care of herself and she loved Marius. She dies in his arms and is happy because not only did she die saving his life, but he is there for her at the very end, to hold her close until she is gone. As she says in the show he was never her's to lose, but despite him not loving her, they were friends and he was there when it counted. What teen wouldn't love that whole story line? I even sang On My Own for every audition I ever did in High School. As an adult I was much more into the adult story lines then I was in High School. I don't remember it being so tragic because I was so focused on the love triangle that I missed everything else. Which is why I'm so glad this movie came out. 

They did a great job. The entire cast. Yes there were some very noticeable weak links. (looking at you Crowe), but by and large they all did the show justice. I thought that Anne Hathaway as Fantine was spectacular (and yes, I did cry) and Hugh Jackman's Val Jean was great. His only weak spot was the new song, Suddenly. I appreciated that they wanted to bridge that gap that existed between Val Jean taking Cosette and her being a teen, but I thought this particular song missed the mark. If you have the opportunity to write a new song, specifically for the actor who will be singing it, then there's no excuse for it to be out of his range. I thought that Jackman sounded like he was reaching for that entire song, which was unfortunate. 

The rest of the cast was great- Across the board I didn't have many complaints, I bought all of them in each of their roles. I especially liked Aaron Tveit as Enjolras and Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche. Sometimes it's easy to forget that this little love story is occurring in the midst of a serious and bloody conflict and I thought that both characters brought you back to what was at stake really fast. Although I did really want to hear more of "Little People". 

I could probably go on and on about the cast and the sets and the costumes (which I loved), but I'll end my ramblings here instead. This is a great story and I'm so glad that everyone involved was committed to making a show that so many people love really come to life on the big screen.

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