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Saturday, 31 May 2014

LES MISERABLES

This is a post I wrote on a blog I am currently getting rid of... enjoy! :)

LES MISERABLES

When I first came to visit England in 1988 I watched the musical 'Chess' at the West End.  I was blown away and fell in love with musicals...


The poster shows a young girl in the background of a dark night. Text above reveals the cast listing and text below reveals the film's title.I have watched many in my time, and one of my favourites is Les Miserables. I have not talked much about my love of music and singing, but I have to admit that one of my passions was song writing. I have not written songs for many years now, I might just get inspired again.

Anyway, I had heard that the movie Les Miserables was amazing and had been waiting to go to see it. Tonight, I finally got my chance.

Well, what can I say... SENSATIONAL! I am traumatised, in shock almost. I have not cried that much in years. It has inspired me to write something deep and meaningful, and believe me when I tell you I will.

So, let's talk about the cast...

Jackman at the Sydney premiere for Real Steel on September 2011Hugh Jackman is sensational as Jean Valjean, he plays the part to perfection. He gave Jean Valjean the right depth of character, compassion and determination.

Rusell Crowe excels in the role of Javert. The perfect counterpart. Stern, rigid and cold hearted. It is difficult to understand this character, but he represents the bloody mindedness of those in a position of power, who believe they are in the right, because they have the Law on their side.

Anne Hathaway blew me away, her performance of Fantine was immaculate, and I will never forget her interpretation of I dreamed a Dream, breathtaking and incredible. It was at this point that I knew I was done for, the tears started and they never ceased.

Amanda Seyfried was well cast as the adult Cosette, her voice sweet and innocent. Isabelle Allen was outstanding as the young Cosette, I will watch her acting career with interest. Personally, I believe Cosette represents everything that is good about the world, what we should fight for.

Samantha Barks role as Eponine was sensational, beautiful voice and fantastic portayal of a character heart broken, yet willing to give her life for the one she loves.

Eddie Redmayne, as Marius, matched Cosette's innocence, even though determined to make a difference. The rebellious, optimistic view of freedom.

As for the rest of the cast, each brought something to the story. The humour of the characters Madame & Monsier Thenardier (played by Helena Bonham Carter & Sacha Baron Cohen) brought some much needed laughter and smiles to the experience - I was grateful for this, and they were VERY funny.

Daniel Huttlestone as Gavroche was extremely cute (a version of the Artful dodger). The rest of the cast was incredible... I can not fault any of them. The visual effects & interpretation of the "musical" was incredible. It was a long film, but I could watch it again and again. I am curious though of what anyone who has not seen the musical will make of it. Since I was at one point even singing along (so was someone sat behind me...) I experienced the musical through the eyes of a movie.

Personally, I could relate to the characters so much more since you could see there faces so clearly. It is very different to watching actors from a distance.

 Anyway, I obviously recommend that you go and see this movie. Any men out there, please take your girlfriend, partner or wife (and tissues) and be prepared to hold hands. In a way I was glad I went alone, I was a wreck, but a hand to hold would have been great for those special "moments."

I hope you enjoy my take, the only thing I would have liked would have been an interval of 15 minutes half way through (with a nice cup of tea).

I leave you with the plot breakdown (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Thanks for reading, Vanessa :) xx

And the plot (as per Wikipedia) - DON'T read if you would rather not know what happens!

In 1815, convict Jean Valjean is released on parole by prison guard Javert after serving a nineteen-year sentence. He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne, but steals his silver during the night. He is caught by the authorities, but the Bishop informs them that the silver was given as a gift, giving him even more, securing Valjean's release. Moved by the Bishop's grace, Valjean breaks his parole vowing to start an honest life helping others under a new identity. Javert swears he will bring the escaped convict to justice.
Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-MerFantine, one of his workers, is discovered to be sending money to her illegitimate daughter, Cosette, who lives with the unscrupulous Thénardiers and their daughter Éponine, and is dismissed by the foreman. In a desperate attempt to support her daughter, Fantine becomes a prostitute. She is arrested by Javert after she attacks an abusive man, but is saved by Valjean, who has her hospitalised. Later, Valjean learns that a man believed to be him has been arrested. Unable to accept that an innocent man is condemned, Valjean reveals his identity to the court before departing for the hospital. There he promises a dying Fantine that he will look after her daughter. After escaping from Javert, Valjean finds Cosette and pays the Thénardiers to allow him to take her, and promises to be like a father to her.

Nine years later, Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only government official sympathetic toward the poor, is nearing death. Students Marius Pontmercy and Enjolras, together with street urchin Gavroche, discuss revolution. Marius later catches a glimpse of Cosette, now a young woman, and instantly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, despite Cosette's questioning, Valjean refuses to tell her about his past or her mother.
At a café, Enjolras organises a group of idealistic students as Lamarque's death is announced. Meanwhile, Éponine, now Marius's friend, leads him to Cosette, where the two profess their love for one another. Lamenting that her secret love for Marius will never be reciprocated, Éponine fatalistically decides to join the revolution. Later, an attempted robbery of Valjean's house makes him mistakenly believe that Javert has discovered him, and he flees with Cosette. As they leave, Enjolras rallies the Parisians to revolt, and Marius sends a farewell letter to Cosette. The next day, the students interrupt Lamarque's funeral procession and begin their revolt. Javert poses as a rebel in order to spy on them, but is quickly exposed by Gavroche and captured. During the ensuing gunfight, Éponine saves Marius at the cost of her own life, professing her love to him before she dies. Valjean, intercepting the letter from Marius to Cosette, goes to the barricade to protect Marius. After saving Enjolras from snipers, he is allowed to execute Javert. However, when the two are alone, Valjean frees Javert, telling him to run.

With the Parisians not joining the revolution as the students expected, they resolve to fight to the death. Everyone is killed but Marius, who is saved when Valjean drags his unconscious body into the sewers. Thénardier, scavenging the dead bodies, steals Marius's ring. Valjean recovers and escapes the sewers carrying Marius, but is confronted at the exit by Javert. Javert threatens to shoot Valjean if he refuses to surrender, but Valjean ignores him. Unable to reconcile the conflict between his civil and moral duties, two things which he always considered the same, Javert commits suicide.

Later, Marius mourns for his friends but Cosette comforts him. Revealing his past to Marius, Valjean tells him he must leave because his presence endangers Cosette, and makes Marius promise never to tell her. Marius and Cosette marry; the Thénardiers crash the reception and testify that they saw Valjean carrying a murdered corpse through the sewers. Thénardier unwittingly shows Marius the ring that he stole from him as "proof." Recognising the ring, Marius realises that it was Valjean who saved his life. Being told Valjean's location by Thénardier, Marius and Cosette depart to find him.

As Valjean sits dying in a local convent, he perceives the spirit of Fantine appearing to take him to Heaven. Cosette and Marius rush in to bid farewell. Valjean hands Cosette his confession of his past life, and joins the spirits of Fantine, the Bishop, Enjolras, Éponine, Gavroche, and the other rebels at the barricade.

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