Miserable

Let me preface this by saying that I love theater, especially musicals.  I have been in several, I own a few on DVD (not just the ones I’m in).  I said all that to say this.  I fell asleep on Les Miserables.  It’s not that it wasn’t good. It was good, it just wasn’t the fabulous theater going experience that many critics (professional and unprofessional) have claimed.  Don’t misunderstand, I enjoyed it sort of.  I hadn’t seen it before but I’ve heard the music from it for years and my oldest daughter thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread.   Hugh Jackman was good and convincing as Jean Valjean.  His singing was good and his chops as an actor only added to the depth of the Character.  Russell Crowe, as Javert was a miss in my opinion.  I love Russell and his ability to bring a character to life but he weak vocal performances probably put so much pressure on him that he brought nothing to the character.  I was glad when Javert threw himself to his death.  In case you don’t know the story, Jean Valjean (Jackman), spends 20 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving son.  He spent 20 years because he kept trying to escape.  Javert (Crowe), the jailer,  as he was released, reminded him that he would be on parole for the rest of his life because he was a danger.  When Valjean was released he was taken in to a convent (or similar institutional religious setting) and was treated kindly, told that he was loved by God and given candle sticks ( which he sold) that he used to create a new identity.  He tore up his parole papers and never checked in.  Javert made it his life’s mission to track him down.  In the meantime Valjean changed his life and became a man of means.  He unknowingly allows a young woman, Fantine (Anne Hathaway) who has a child to whom she sends all her money, to be fired by his foreman.  She then falls on hard times and becomes a prostitute.  When she dies he finds her daughter and raises her.  Anyway, Javert never stops pursuing Valjean, and Valjean continues to try to use his second chance at life to do good instead of evil.  It’s a long drawn out circular tale and it ends with Valjean rescuing Javert, and then going back to a convent to die.  This is the condensed version.  I was getting tired of it just writing it.  If, I, a person who loves musical theater felt this way about it, imagine how someone who has never been to a musical or is not fond of them would feel?  I’m sure that if I’d seen Les Miserables in the theater with live performances I would’ve enjoyed it more.  The reason that I enjoy musical theater (including Opera) is not necessarily the story line.  It’s the beauty of the singing coupled with the orchestra.  That is the beauty of theater.  This version of Les Miserables was probably wonderful to those who are already big fans.  The problem was not all of the singing.  Amanda Seyfried as Cosette was great and so was Anne Hathaway.  Their singing was brief, though.  Hugh Jackman deserves an Oscar for his performance as Jean Valjean because he was able to convey the story of a man who had been redeemed and tried hard to redeem his nemesis.  Over all it was a good movie.  Not great, just good.  Wait til it comes out on video. He’s my opinion.  They should have opted for a lesser known actor who is also singer for the role of Javert.

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~ by Diva2de on January 19, 2013.

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