My Grade: B
Summary: Moments of Beauty Weighed Down By Excess Baggage of Singing and Dancing, Most of Which You Can’t Even Remember
(note: my sincere apologies to the poets on this site. The poem below is terrible… but of course, I don’t really care as its a review)
I’ve never heard so much singing, from any musical I’ve seen
That’s both a blessing and a curse, in this tale of Jean Valjean.
Though this film’s on French Revolution, I never cared what they were fighting for
Didn’t bother to read the intertitles, which said where Jean went, where he was
And for this I can’t be really blamed, the music tired me out completely
Song after song o’er every frame, continued till like eternity!
Each and every sentence is sung, and there’s a background score running
Persistently o’er every note, till it well exceeds saturation!
Take for example the scene where Javert, Jean Valjean’s enemy is seen
Contemplating his moral actions, we hear the waves of the sea (please bear with me)
This could’ve sufficed in conveying – his dilemma, his situation
But sound mixer Simon Hayes, adds a score that’s a distraction
This happens in many other scenes, where non-diegetic score was unnecessary;
It could’ve been used in crucial scenes, only when it was really needed
But there were times it was used well, that is when it created constancy!
Like the sound that’s heard when Jean appears first, is later heard in another scene.
But one wonders why the fuck, did the camera shake and cut so much
It could at times drive you nuts; you wonder a butcher’s knife was used to cut the scenes?
And sometimes it was just awkward – the camera on the character’s faces
Linger on for prolonged moments, in mid-shots as they bellowed out phrases!
Although I can’t deny the great moments, like when the rebels congregate to fight
And the song of comradeship is heard, proudly sung, just sounding right!
Also when different sounds overlap, to create a distinct melody
In which different characters sing their plights, it really harmonizes neatly!
I haven’t read Victor Hugo’s French novel… neither have I seen the musical
I thought the tale of Jean and Javert, was touching and very lyrical!
There are just so many themes here… so much commentary of that time;
We see people’s attitude change, from helplessness to courage bright!
(*hopeless case of rhyming, please forgive)
But when music dominates, you somewhat ignore important details;
You can’t feel how music works, to lift its characters’ from the reality’s bleakness!
Now the film’s about Jean Valjean, the prisoner’s who was punished
For nineteen years for stealing bread; so after his sentencing is finished
He was released by Javert on parole. He wanders all around the town
Seeking shelter and refuge, but the unfortunate is driven out
Until a clergyman offers food. Valjean being desperate
Steals the silver but is caught; the priest forgives him and lets him take
All the booty, but with this sermon
That he shall use the possessions, to become a better person;
And with this our hero Valjean, becomes a mayor years later
Until he meets his nemesis, who at first doesn’t remember him
But Javert soon comes to know, after Jean reveals his identity
Fantine was a worker at his place, an unmarried woman with a child
And for this she was kicked out, and had to seek to prostitution
Until Jean came and took her away, but she alas couldn’t be saved.
And so Valjean, he escapes, with her daughter Cosette into seclusion…
But Javert and Jean would cross paths, years later when a revolt out breaks!
(Horrible anastrophe, please forgive… again)
So now we talk about the cast, about Hugh, Crowe and Anne Hathaway
Hugh puts on a protector act, similar to what he does always
But as his Jean grows old, there are some special moments we like;
Though Crowe can act, he can’t sing well – he trumpets like a baby elephant!
Poor, poor Anne Hathaway, fighting all the forces acting against her
Gives out the most amazing act, more complex than any other character
In the little time she gets, she performs worthy of an Oscar!
And her song ‘I dreamed a dream’, seems stuck in my bloody head
But unfortunately, there’s no other song I can recollect!
- The Les Miserables Power Rankings (popculturehasaids.wordpress.com)
- ‘Les Miserables’ sets Blu-ray release date – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Getting teary over Les Miserables (bbc.co.uk)
- Les Misrables’ – My Review (benjaminjohnsutton.wordpress.com)
- Movie Review: Les Miserables 2012 Tom Hooper (danielumstead.wordpress.com)
- Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Les Miserables Cast Sing Live, Reunite on Oscars Stage for Memorable Performance (entertainably.com)
- Review: Les Misérables (2012) (thefilmoracle.wordpress.com)
- Film review: Les Miserables (2012) (moonlightlibrary.wordpress.com)