So, here we have a review of Les Misérables, courtesy of a friend of mine, Locke, who is currently living in Utah and has reviewed Les Mis, after having watched it in an American cinema not too long ago. So, as of the read-more tag, here’s what he thinks.
Ever since I was in middle school I have been a fan of the broad way musical Les Misérables, when I was introduced to it in the school choir. I had only a partial understanding of the story and had only really ever heard the 10 and 25 year anniversary adaptations. I sadly could never see the real play living so far from New York. Over the years I learned more of the story and the meaning behind and when I heard of the new Les Misérables film I was excited to say the least.
In my humble opinion the cast did a great job and it was only made better by the fact that most of the song were filmed live so when in other musicals it seems like the actors kind of stop acting to “sing” their parts, here they continued to act as they sung. giving the songs much more feeling much more depth and power. It did change how parts of the song were sung or not sung in some cases, where the actor chose to whisper or speak a line instead of singing it or brief pauses were the character was overcome with thought or emotion. To some and to me a little this detracted from the songs but in its own way it added a beautiful nuance to the reality of the film. I think in a way to help the audience connect better to their pain and their grief. I find I have a hard time singing when my life been ruined but maybe that’s just me.
Colm Wilkinson has always been my favorite valjean, and it was entertaining to see him play the role of the priest in the film. I find it hard for anyone to live up to Colm as Jean Valjean even Hugh Jackman. He out of any part left me a little wanting but as I said he had big shoes to fill and he still did a terrific job. Though he couldn’t hit the high notes as Colm had in “who am I?”
The biggest surprise was Russell Crowe as Javert. Before the movie started a man behind me remarked about his doubt in Mr. Crowe’s singing ability but I myself was pleasantly surprised and thought he did quite well in capturing Javerts character.
After the film had finished I found myself a little depressed, but not because the film was lacking but because it had been so good it left me feeling a little lost in a sense. Like any good tv show or book. I felt sad that it was over.
Overall this was a great movie by a great cast. I had to fight myself from applauding at the end (cause im strange that way.) I recommend this movie highly and I can tell you that I will buy it when it comes on Blu-ray and DVD.