One of the sole purposes of cinema is to bring movies to life based on the stories that we`ve either seen on stage on Broadway or have read in literary form (real books, not electronic ones). I’ve neither seen Les Mis on stage or have read the book, but it was highly regarded and praised that I think I couldn’t have went on longer avoiding watching this movie. Filled with a cast that was truly a different appeal to many, I was eager to see how it would all come together, given the fact that it’s a musical. I just didn’t know that it was going to be heavily induced with it.
That one Jay-Z line just loves to cross my mind all of the time because there’s always a scenario that calls for it: ‘Time don’t go back, it goes forward. Can’t run from the pain go towards it’, and in this case, it’s no different. You have a secret that you have to live with, and if you reveal yourself, you’ll see your life as forfeit. Jean Valjean (played by Hugh Jackman) is a man that was at the lowest of the totem pole for a crime he had committed, and his debt was paid, but when he refused to live a life bound to authority, he broke loose. Isn’t it always the case that there’s a point when we say ‘enough is enough’, and we go after what we want to live the way we want to live? But the thing is, no matter how far you run from the past, no matter how ugly, it will always rear its ugly head from the crevices to say ‘what’s up’ one time or the other.
Who would have thought that Maximus (Russell Crowe), Wolverine (Jackman), and the Princess of Genovia (Anne Hathaway) would all come together in one movie of this utter dramatic and musical magnitude? The French Revolution in the 1800s was a big deal. The large separation of rich and poor was brutally vast, and the people weren’t being treated fairly by the Monarchy? So what happens when the people aren’t satisfied by how their beloved country is being run? They revolt; they raise their arms in unison and fight against the authority to claim what’s theirs in order to be peaceful. The three characters between the 3 main characters become intertwined throughout the movie, and although the focus is on the revolution, there is personal growth and soul searching evident between all of them. The belief in God and Christianity is very adamant and focal in this movie. The majority of the songs that deal with sufferance and love always have an entity of God within them, asking for strength to make it through their own personal battles, even if that meant one life had to cross another’s path. I know it was a musical, but I didn’t know that the actors would be singing every single one of their lines. I may be naïve, but that’s just my take.
It’s ironic that Amanda Seyfried played the dumb one in Mean Girls, but has went on to have the best career of the quartet (if you remember the movie). You have to be happy for her in the sense that she’s come a long way from playing a blonde ditz. All of the actors and their ability to tie in emotions while singing live, not with the aid of studio enhancement (maybe some, obviously) was really impressive, and Anne Hathaway really knocked it out of the ball park for her time being. I had no idea that Borat (I mean, Sacha Baron Cohen) was in this movie, and as usual with his many roles, he brought comedic relief along with Helena Bonham-Carter. I even had a Seinfeld moment when they started singing ‘Master of the House.’ This was a movie that had one word that was the main emphasis – freedom. Freedom of the stronghold of the government towards the people; freedom of Jean’s life as a lie; and freedom from the haunting past in order for there to be a bright future.
All in all, this was a really well done movie. Singing while acting and maintaining your sense of focus when you have to do probably a million things at once isn’t easy. It shows off the sheer talent that actors possess, and that they really need to have all facets of stage presence in order to pull a movie like this off. I can still hear the songs being sung in my head, but it just goes to show you that it did leave an impression once I left the theatre. It’s really heartfelt and emotional, and the guy in me and to refrain from the excessive eye rolling in the love scenes. It was romantic, dramatic, a fairy-tale for many to enjoy; whether if you’re from an older generation or a newer one. If you enjoy musicals, you’ll enjoy this movie. If you don’t, then don’t waste your time. I’m sure it will be picking up some Oscars in the near future, but for now, this is my opinion, this is my review
That’s My Word & It STiXX