This is my Show, Harry's Show, The Miserables... It really was nice of Universal Pictures to front the cold hard cash required to put on a film about my good friend Harry, a musical masterpiece marveling his musings on the big screen for all to see. It truly is a dream come true to see his life being put on for millions of people to s... oh, right yes, inside jokes and all that.
If you've been comatose for the last 25 years or indeed militantly against musical theater, it is probably not wrong to assume you've heard of Les Misérables or to those in the know, Les Mis... The book by Victor Hugo , the musical that has ran on Broadway for 25 years and now the film, is about a French convict come good Samaritan (Jean Valjean) who breaks parole and is forever escaping the capture of a Policeman (Javert). All this is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, exciting times. There's a daughter involved and various family/love interests that either help or hinder the hero's cause in some way.
The film took a while to get going in my opinion. It was only really when our timeline of events entered Paris (where both Javert and Valjean are in the autumn years and the daughter Cosette is all grown up) when the cinema sat up out of their chairs: a combination of edge of their seat engagement in the film and also a reflection of the viewers desire to get out their seats and get involved, to join the revolution as it were. From then on it's a mixed bag of camaraderie, honour and heroism which one can't help but be drawn into: either the viewer is rooting for Valjean's cause (an awful injustice on his part) or the viewer is rooting for the young revolutionaries dogged fight against the ruling classes.
|All set during the French Revolution|
It is a musical, and you cannot really avoid that if you're not especially keen on this kind of thing. But honestly this is one of the most thoroughly well put together musicals i have ever seen. Hugh Jackman does perfectly well, as indeed do all the cast. Russell Crowe has been criticised, but i believe he played the role perfectly, his gruff tone only added to the atmosphere when he and Valjean confront each other.
I would recommend the film to most, although if you ardently dislike musicals i would avoid this number, near enough every line is sung.
I can understand if you're not convinced, "It's a musical, it's all singing and dancing, not that keen on said actor" etc etc may well crop up as prejudices about the film, but consider the following: during the film, something incredible happened. People clapped at the end, this isnt something i enjoy, i always feel it a bit awkward but consider this; people clapped during the film as well. In addition, in a big cinema such was the one i was in, a quick glance around and everyone was either mouths open, or had tears running down their faces. Such universal, cinema wide engagement in the film has to count for something, and i can confirm i was caught up in it just as the family were when i went to watch it. Head over to the local movie theater and see if you get caught up in it all as i was. Manly tears were definitely shed.
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