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Les Miserables 2013 (DVD)
Member Name: Hoggle-DR1749
Les Miserables 2013 (DVD)
Date: 21/02/13, updated on 06/03/13 (34 review reads)
Advantages: Beautifully done, thought provoking, emotional
Disadvantages: Not enough Anne Hathaway
Les Mis is a beautiful story about various connections and classes of 19th century France. The original French text consists of 48 books, so it's very difficult to place the entire story within a three hour film.
But of all the various film interpretations this has to be one of the best attempts to summarise the classic that i've seen. It focusses on the journey of the convict Jean val Jean (Jackman) from being hated by the world and in turn hating the world, to being respected and loved by the world when he becomes Monsieur du Mayor, and Papa to Cosette (Seyfried,) the daughter of the deceased poor soul Fantine (Hathaway) who had to resort to prostitution to meet the constant monetary demands of the couple she had left Cosette in the care of. Jean val Jean is constantly pursued by Javert (Crowe) who goes on a moral journey, but cannot handle the fact that Jean val Jean has changed his view on the law and his morals, and commits suicide.
Of course this is a musical rendition, where every line is sung. Personally i thought this was a nice touch, although you could tell Jackman and Crowe were struggling a little bit with a few of the higher notes. Hathaway's presentation of 'I Dreamed a Dream' literally made the the cinema screening we were in, previously full of cinema-type sounds, absolutely silent with awe. it was beautiful. Seeing Helen Bonham-Carter sing 'Master of the House' also added to the film's brilliance. The directors knew what they were doing when they cast this film.
Of all the visual effects, i have to say the ship at the beginning was very impressive, upon research, i found out that the producers had shipped in tonnes and tonnes of seaweed to actually make the entire set feel like they were pulling this set in. The use of costumes, particularly in Jean val Jean's character, is used very effectively, not only to show the time and setting of the film, but though show the character's mental state as it were. For example Javert wears blue throughout most of the film, but when he has his moral conflict he is wearing black, quite often associated with mourning and death. Similarly, Fantine starts off as wearing blue and pink- quite nice, settled colours, but as she delves deep into despair is wearing darker clothing, until she is taken in by val Jean, where she is placed in whites and creams, in order to show her innocence and helplessness in her illness. Costumes are a big factor in this film.
One thing i do know about acting is that it's very difficult to pull off good naturalistic acting when you have to sing everything- it's almost as if you naturally want to do big wavy movements like you find in operas instead of acting as though you were talking to the person next to you. One of the great aspects of this film is that the actors do manage to pull off the naturalistic acting when needs be, but still has appropriate big wavy moments. There are a few little slips here and there, particularly from Jackman, but otherwise a very successful round of acting from all the cast.
If i had one little niggle about this film, it would be the unnecessary 'crack' that accompanies Javert's death. I know this is a very sound-effect-prominent film, but there was no need for the sickening 'crack,' Javert's death was drawn out and effective enough as it was.
All in all a very emotional and thought provoking musical with a well known all-star cast, to which i guarantee more than one person will finish watching the film and realise they've been watching Wolverine sing for three hours. Although i do feel this interpretation had too much Russel Crowe and not enough Anne Hathaway.
Summary: One of the best interpretations i've seen