Les Misérables (2012) Review
The massive worldwide musical hit takes to the big screen in a massive production with a fantastic cast. I have been looking forward to this film for so long now, and to start it certainly did not disappoint. It’s amazing and one of the best films I’ve seen, emotional from start to finish with incredible performances.
All set in 19th Century France when the poor are really poor and struggling. But to start with me meet convict and slave Jean Valjean who is then hunted by ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parol and pretty much disappears . . . Well under the name Jean Valjean. He changes his life and reinvented himself away from the life of slavery he had once known, makes himself a better man. After a meeting with a Bishop, who is played by Colm Wilkinson something I thought was a brilliant touch due to Wilkinson being the original Jean Valjean! Great touch from the filmmakers.
Fatine a worker for Jean Valjean who is Major of a town and has his own business now is kicked out onto the streets when she won’t yeild to the foreman and the other women work against her after finding out she has a child. At this point we all know that this is going to build up towards “I Dreamed a Dream’ I will not spoil how this is done but it is very emotional. Plus if you think about the lyrics you know it is not a happy song. I was actually dreading that part and with good reason, the way they have done it in the film really is heartbreaking and I will say that was the first time I cried watching this film.
When Jean Valjean finds out she was kicked out from working for him he vows to protect her child Cosette. Something he really does do very well whilst still trying to stay away from Javert who remembers his true identity. The chase between the pair is something we see throughout the film, it seems as though they both actually fear each other more than anything.
We also have a love story between Cosette and Marius, with a slight love triangle as Eponine is in love with Marius. This leads to a fantastic performance of ‘On My Own’ from Samantha Barks.
I’m pretty sure everyone already knows that this musical is a lot different from others we have seen on the big screen due to the singing being recorded live instead of dubbed over. This helps to add to how breathtaking this film is, the emotion the actors put into the performances and singing the songs with passion and it creates better acting than if it had been dubbed over with the soundtrack.
I honestly was so emotional and drawn in from start to finish with this film, it really took me in and consumed me. I felt emotionally drained when it finished. This has to be with the performances put in from the actors, they make you feel everything that they are feeling. Something that doesn’t happen very often when watching films. I really do think this film will win Best Picture at the Oscars and I really hope it does, it deserves too so many good things about it.
To add some comedy moments to the film this is left to Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter in the roles of the innkeeper and his wife. The pair are supposed to be looking after a young Cosette but use her as a slave really. But I guess they do help lighten the mood at times as it is all very serious and tense. Not a fan of Cohen at all and couldn’t really get away with him in this role either, probably my only criticism of the film, surely someone better could have taken on this role?
Hugh Jackman was just brilliant and throughly deserves the Oscar nomination. The emotion and passion he puts into the role is just fantastic, we see a man growing old in front of us and it is amazing to see. I love the approach of having hardly any spoken lines at all, all singing it just makes it a little different again. Daniel Huttlestone was a massive standout in the film as well, a role in which he has played in the West End, just brilliant!
This has been a difficult review to put together as so much happens in the film which I don’t want to spoil as I wasn’t sure on all of the story myself. Plus how much I really loved the film from start to finish despite crying a few times, but surely that just helps show how incredibly emotional it all is. I will go as far as saying this is the best film I have seen in such a long time, I can’t really think what it’s come close too. This is a massive thing as I was starting to think that I was going to be disappointed after hearing so many good things about it.
I even bought the soundtrack this morning so been listening to it as I’ve been doing the review. Which reminds me that Eddie Redmayne was fantastic as well, I think this film is really going to help launch him further into the spotlight. I will be seeing this again on the big screen and looking forward to a second viewing already.
Were you blown away by Les Mis?