Reviewing ‘Les Miserables’ Oscar Winning Tom Hooper Film Starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe

Anne Hathaway at the 83rd Academy Awards

Anne Hathaway Shines (actually she dies) as Fantine in Les Miserables (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

And leaves the town with Fantine’s daughter, the little Cosette.

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!

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2 thoughts on “Reviewing ‘Les Miserables’ Oscar Winning Tom Hooper Film Starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe

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