Movie Review: Les Misérables (2013 DVD)
Plot Summary from IMDB: In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever.
One highlight of the film is the singing and acting. Hugh Jackman, (Jean Valjean) Ann Hathaway (Fantine), and Russell Crowe (Javert) were fantastic. In addition, Samantha Barks (Éponine) does a beautiful job that rivals the performance of Anne Hathaway.
In addition, some of the songs tell the story well. In particular, “Look Down” forms a powerful theme by showing how all the protagonists are connected through social prejudice. Also, “One Day More” is a great rallying theme for the cast of the movie. When it comes to certain characters, some songs like Fantine’s “I Dreamed a Dream” and Jean Valjean’s “What Have I Done?”capture them well.
Despite the excellent singing and songs, there are huge flaws that made the film less enjoyable. One flaw that is noticeable within the first ten minutes is the fast pacing. It made certain events a bit confusing and unrealistic. For instance, Jean Valjean’s epiphanies were too rushed because of the singing.
Another flaw of the film is the lack of dialogue. Since this is a movie adaptation of the broadway show, this is understandable. However, both the film and the broadway show were inspired by a poignant novel with thought-provoking lines. Without some of them in place of the songs, the movie feels like a musical soap opera that is hard to take seriously.
Overall, the film was mostly a disappointment. If you enjoy the broadway show or musicals in general, then feel free to give the film a try. However, avoid this film if you read the book first or if you hate musicals.
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