Movie Review: Les Miserables

Set to the tune of “Maryland, My Maryland”

I dreamed a dream that I was in a movie theatre trying to understand a film where all the characters sang, until it turned out that the seats were alligators and the popcorn I was eating was miniature figures of Janet Reno. I woke up. The movie I was watching had entered into hour number two and was not showing any signs of stopping.

In all fairness, Les Miserables is a fantastic film adaptation of the beloved stage musical, but you can already muster that information from the numerous awards it has already been nominated for and has received. That is why I will not take this opportunity to sing its praises, and will instead try and write down my feelings in a therapeutic exercise to help me fully understand how someone can put so much sadness into that many show tunes.

Since the film takes place during a tumultuous time in French political history, I do not need to say “spoiler alert” before I tell you that many of the main characters die. Many of the main characters die.

Hugh Jackman, a lock for at least five Oscars

Tragic in its own right–that poor people with no chance at life died so suddenly–much of the sorrow is lost in the realization that many of the deaths could have been easily avoided. Quick note: in order to be able to fully understand the depictions of scenes I am about to write about, it is recommended you see the film (or try to picture an episode of the Voice sponsored by Martha Stewart’s Holiday Collection and Various Hyperactivity-Causing Opiates). The three major death scenes of the movie, those of Fantine (played by Anne Hathaway), Eponine (Samantha Barks), and Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), were depressing enough to tranquilize a horse, made even worse by the fact that they were accompanied by the most morose music I have ever heard. The death of Eponine was particularly outrageous, due to the fact that the ignorant object of her affections, Marius, does nothing to help her and allows her to succumb to her wounds while babbling on about some flower. This same apathy is seen by Cosette, as she allows the ghost of her mother to kill her adoptive father, Jean, as a horde of singing zombies overrun the city of Paris.

A little common sense from the characters would have been refreshing, especially after the band of rebels attempted to stop the entire French army with a pile of chairs and an underage militia.

I do have to commend the valiant effort of these actors and actresses, who, with little musical experience, had to sing and act concurrently in every take. Special kudos go to Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Bellatrix Lestrange (as I will always know her), Sacha Baron Cohen, and a cameo by Award-Winning Apple iPhone Software Siri as Inspector Javert. I recommend that everyone should at least go and see the movie, if more nothing else than to yell “I knew it!” at your frightened family when it cleans up at the Academy awards.

–Ian Corbet, Arts Editor

Posted by on January 22, 2013. Filed under Arts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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