- Posted January 5, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
iReport at the movies
My review of Les Misérables
(WARNING...There are some spoilers here.)
I been grappling with myself on how to review the movie version of Les Misérables. Although I have some major complaints, it really is worth seeing. And I don't want people to just assume it's bad because I have found fault.
My sister and I went to see it on Dec. 27.
I have so many emotional ties to the stage production of Les Miz, that I was beside myself with excitement to be able to see it on the big screen.
To see this amazing story and score brought to life so that others, who aren't keen on Broadway productions, could immerse themselves in this unbelievably beautiful musical.
Then I saw the film...
I was both moved and disappointed with what I watched.
First the style that the director used in filming this was absolutely amazing!!!
In the stage production you don't get to see the actors faces up-close. You rely on what your ears hear, over what you can actually see, to understand the emotions that are being portrayed.
In the film, your emotions are besieged by both what you see and what you hear. And considering the actors are singing live, their emotions translate directly into the scene.
You hear the the voices crack with emotion. You watch as they basically live through the experiences of the character they are portraying.
For example, it took a song like "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", to entirely new and heart-wrenching level.
You see the absolute desperation and guilt reflected, not only in the words, but in the face of Marius (the name of the character who sings the song).
It had the entire theater, including all the "manly men" present in tears. lol
It's beyond heart-wrenching...it's soul-wrenching.
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway where amazing to watch because of this.
They deserve whatever award or nomination the receive!
And the music was exceptional.
Now, there are two things I didn't like about the film.
1st. Some of the casting was off.
Poor Russell Crowe did a great job as far as acting the role of the Inspector Javert, but was sorely lacking in respect to the vocals.
This character is the nemesis of the main character Jean Valjean.
His voice should be just as strong and as powerful of Valjean. But Mr. Crowe's voice was just to weak.
He doesn't have the power behind his vocals to pull off such a role.
These two links show the confrontation between Valjean and Javert.
The first is of Crowe and Jackman, the second is the 25th Anniversary special.
You will see how the voices are suppose to match in power, which Russell Crowe just wasn't able to do in the film:
The casting of the Thénardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter).
It's actually hard to say if it was the actors fault or the directors fault in why this casting was disappointing.
In the stage production, the Thénardiers act as not only the conniving, nasty and unscrupulous pair who cause young Cosette to have a horrible life, they are also the comic relief.
This musical is very very intensely sad. You have to have a moment of levity to offset the sadness. Not only to relieve your own shattered nerves, but to contrast the difference so you can really feel the desperation when the musical takes you to those very dark places.
In the movie...they failed at this. I mean really really failed at this.
The Thénardiers were only portrayed as the nasty people they are, without the humor that the stage production has.
And just a small problem with Amanda Seyfried.
In my opinion, the vibrato in her voice was grating. It sounded like one of the "Chipettes" from "Alvin and the Chipmunks." lol
2nd. Some of the most insightful moments, in several of the songs, were deleted in the film.
I can take that they added a new song.
I can take that they added new lyrics in songs to better explain the movie.
I CAN'T take when you delete a section of a song that is very important!!!
I'll give you an example...
There is a scene from the stage production when the students at the barricade sing a song about the memories of their lives as friends.
A beautiful song called "Drink with Me".
During the song, the student are just remembering their good times together, that is until a character named Grantaire sings.
What is not portrayed well at all in the film is the character of Grantaire.
He suppose to be a student, usually drunk, who is a bit of a clown. And the best friend of a student named Enjolras who leads the student's revolution.
Grantaire is also suppose to be used a comic relief until the scene at the barricade.
During the song he has his moment of clarity when he knows he'll probably die and how he may have wasted his life.
You're suppose to witness the change of the jovial student into the sad realization of his own life.
You can watch how it was suppose to be represented on this link. Grantaire part begins at 0:42.
That part of the song WASN'T in the film.
They did this to several of the songs.
From Fantine's death to the duet between Marius and Éponine's, just before her death.
I know I've said several bad things about the film, but all in all the film is worth seeing.
If I hadn't been seen the stage version, and just saw the film, I probably would have found it fantastic.
And I really hope that when they release the DVD those scenes may have just been deleted for time and show up on the there.