Friday, February 8, 2013

Les Mis Rantings

So the movie's been out for over a month, but I have to share my thoughts about Les Mis.

Reviewish Thoughts:

So much shaky cam and super super closeups.  It takes a little while to get used to the constant singing, but once you get into the swing of things.  Don't go in expecting Broadway, it's a much more intimate portrayal of the story.

Wow!  Just wow.  Anne Hathaway, you sang an emotional roller coaster of "I Dreamed a Dream" in one long complete continuous shot!  Fantine's story is not pleasant, but man is it powerful.  You are also the first actress I've seen that cried unprettily.  Usually it's just a few tears trickling down an actress's face.  No, you had the real scrunched up face, red nosed, heartbroken sobs.  You lost 25 pounds that you did not have for this roll.  I can't say that I agree with that decision, since it is probably bad for your health, but you were definitely committed to your roll.  A stunning and compelling performance.


I wish Javert's story was explored in more depth.  Sure, Russel Crow has a hard time acting and singing at the same time, but Javert is still one of my favorite characters.  He's a wonderful foil to Valjean, and their names are too similar for that to be an accident. He is unwaveringly committed to the letter of the law.  In a very unfair world  he clings to the law as the only fair and impartial judge.  But then Valjean shows him mercy.  And he sees Gavroche's body, and his heart comes out, just a little bit.  I love the part where he puts his own medal on Gavroche, acknowledging the boy and thinking for the first time, that maybe this boy was innocent.  And if Gavroche is innocent, maybe the others were as well.  And as soon if he question his worldview, he has to take the responsibility for all his actions, and he can't face that prospect.  And then he takes up the "What have I done?" self-crisis song that Valjean sang earlier (I love when musicals recycle themes from earlier in the play and give them to different characters).  Was Russel Crow as good as Philip Quast?  No, but he brought a new dynamic to the role and the two actors are not mutually exclusive.

I love this musical.  I love the story; I love the music; I love the lyrics; I love the characters (now I feel a bit like this girl).  I want to go see it again and again and again.  I cried multiple times and am not ashamed of that. 

Who else saw the movie and what did you think?

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