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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Les Miserables

I have always liked Dreamgirls since its release in 2006. Musicals has always fascinated me. Chicago, Mama Mia and Moulin Rouge are just some of the contemporary Broadway musicals which were transformed to the silver screen which I really find interesting and has withstand the test of time for me.  There are some that hits but there were a lot of misses as well like Rock of Ages and Hairspray. This year, we are in a surprise with the release of the highly acclaimed Broadway Musical Les Miserables.

Based on Victor Hugo's classic novel of the same name, Les Miserables is an adaptation of the hit Broadway Musical to the big screen. It follows the struggle of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) for redemption after he was convicted for stealing a loaf of bread. Consistently sought by Javert (Russell Crowe) after Jean suddenly disappeared, Jean became a wealthy man swearing that he will always find justice to those who are in need. However, a sudden turn of events made Jean to keep a promise to a dying woman who was a victim of circumstances, Fontine (Anne Hathaway) to have her daughter be rescued in the clutches of an inkeeper. While the French has a revolution to fight, Jean is torn between making his adopted daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfreid) happy in the arms of the man she loves or keep on trying to protect her by escaping constantly on the clutches of Javert.
This is the beauty of transforming the great Broadway musicals into a movie feature. It allows other audiences to enjoy the material without going to New York. Les Miserables is a wonder to behold. Right from the first frame of the film, one can see and feel the grandiosity of the film. As the first lyric was uttered, one may be amazed as how it was delivered. I can see no flaw as the movie progresses and did not notice that it is running for almost three hours and to think that I am watching it at around 2am in a local cinema. As the characters are being bloomed and understood with each note they sing, I was emerged into their own emotions. One of the defining moments was Anne Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" where she was submerged into pure emotion coupled by sincere rendition of the song, feeling each words that were uttered like it was hers to sing in the first place. Much applaud are given to Anne that even with a small screen time, she has affected me most with such powerful performance. One could not also deny that Hugh Jackman shined brightly as the lead. Backed by his Broadway experience, Jackman is a surefire to nail Valjean's character. Samantha Bark's Eponine is also a sight to behold as she renders such depth to her wounded character. While Rusell Crowe may have struggled in some parts, he has proven that he is the actor and that he can also sing. Seyfreid and Redmayne are great as well but somehow has been overshadowed by the other leads. 

One of the wonders in this film is that all of the songs were recorded live on set with only a piano as an accompaniment and background music were just mixed in post production. This allowed a more emotional rendition of the songs than the usual pre recorded music and later lip-synched during the film production. One can feel the emotions to every lyric with this type of approach in a musical, making it feel like you are witnessing the Broadway musical itself. Director Tom Hooper was successful in capturing the essence of the film. The actors gave justice to the material. 

One could only be emotional as emotions are escalated up to the great finale making you breathless until the very last note making Les Miserables one of the best Broadway Musical adaptation of all time.

GRADE: A+ 

trailer


3 comments:

  1. I love the intro songand how it was shot!

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  2. yeah. i still can't get over the movie... :)

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  3. I feel the same thing kapatid. Another plus was how close the camera was para makita ang depth ng acting na daw tuod tuod gd...

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