Monday, 20 May 2013

Review - Les Miserables

Les Miserables - The time is 19th-century France. Jean Valjean, a convict is been hunted by the ruthless police chief Javert after he breaks parole. It is after he finds his spiritual belief in god, he agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever.

 Hello Film fans, In today's review I  shall be reviewing the musical motion picture of 'Les Miserables'.

Adapted for screenplay by director Tom Hooper, who's work I praised for 'The Kings Speech'.

SPOILER ALERT: As ever, there will be spoilers as I talk about this film. so If you don't want 'Les Mis' to be spoiled, you may want to turn away now.

This film was released in the US on the 25th of December 2012, and was released in the UK on the 11th of January 2013. It is now available to purchase on DVD,Blu Ray and on I Tunes.

This film has absolutely no dialogue what so ever, every character in the film communicates through music, and all the characters sing everything. Which is true to the original musical it adapts, however this story is not like any normal musical. Plus as a fault characters often sing about things that could be just as easily done, by just talking normally.

The Story which those of you who have seen the film of the stage show will know, is that of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), known as Prisoner 24601, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe).

As we the audience follow Valjean's story, we meet other characters like Fantine 'Anne Hathaway' who is a factory worker who is fired after bringing an incriminating letter to work, she is a character of desperation and symbolises the poverty rates at the time of the 18th century. After loosing her job Fantine is forced to prostitute herself, as the only way to supply money for her daughter,In grief of her situation Valjean takes her to a doctor's care, where he promises to care for her daughter for her, Fantine then grows very weak and dies from sickness.

We are then introduced to Cossette, Fantines precocious child who is scared of the dark and lives with these two traders who own an Inn just outside of Paris. They're not very likable characters, not that interesting, considered to be humours characters. Valjean then takes Cosette into his own care and raises her as if she was his child.

It is then we are introduced to the June rebellion, more historical incites and graphic CGI crain shots to add emphasis of dramatic effect. we meet Marius (Eddie Redmyne) and Eponine (Samantha Barks) it is at this point forms of Love is communicated in the story. 'Strong Love' and 'Unrequintid Love' both portrayed brilliantly I thought it did what it needed.

Marius has his eyes on Cosette, but Eponine feels alone as she has feelings for Marius, feelings she knows she is never going to get back from him.

Valjean then hears word, that Javert is looking for him and flees with Cosette. Cosette of course knows nothing of Valjean's past and is eager to find out that information. But as battle rages out in blazing glory, casualties are made along the way, a lot of death and remorse is shown.

Valjean then hears trouble at the barricade, and goes to help, he saves Marius from being killed by the emotionless soldiers, and Marius and Cosette are reunited and married, soon after Valjean meets peace and dies. The Film closes dramatically with a powerful, emotional  Epilogue, which I approved of.

I'll be honest, I had high expectations for this film adaptation, as I hadn't seen the stage show and knew nothing about the story, so this film was my opportunity to gain knowledge and gain interest in the story.

In a nutshell it didn't do anything special for me. I don't wish my opinion to discredit the film in any way because the story is a musical masterpiece. I just felt let down. I struggled to understand basic outlines in the story, they're were a lot of plot holes, and above all that it was boring. I had no interest in the plot, by the time it got to the end of the film, I was just like 'what did I gain from watching that? - nothing'

I thought Hugh Jackman was wooden, and his singing was so irritating, very floored and over rated performance.

Russell Crowe, I liked. I absolutely fail to understand what Russell Crowe did wrong, he showed a man who has a true belief in what is right. he showed true emotion in his expressions and exhailed that in his singing.

Anne Hathaway was incredible, what frustrates me is the fact she didn't do a lot. because Anne Hathaway can sing. and she can show true emotion as well, so its a real shame she was killed off quite early in the story.

Eddie Redmayne was good, I liked him. he didn't get on my nerves which was something of an average performance.

Samantha Barks was good, but again she didn't do a lot, she had very little screen time.

Amanda Seyfried was odd, I didn't quite know what to think of here, considering she has strange qualities in her singing voice, it's was communicated to me as being beautiful to something quite strange.

Helena Bohnam Carter and Sacha Bahran Cohan were over used, they're characters were so overtly comedic that they just weren't funny, and they failed to convince me of a good performance, which I don't like when you have good actors you shouldn't waste them, you should bring out their talents not drown them in humour and have them wear stupid costumes and silly make-up.

The directing was a little below par, 2 and half hours of CGI crain shots and extreme close ups were a bit floored to say the least, I just had no care, wasn't something that great.

Overall 'Les Mis' let me down, it was a terrible shame, especially for me because I went in with high expectations.

I'm going to give this film a 6/10

1 Gold Star to Anne Hathaway
1 Silver star to Russell Crowe
1 Bronze Star to Samantha Barks

Thank you  for reading this review.  my next review will be 'Step Brothers' starring Will Ferrell and John C.Reilly I will post that review on Wednesday the 22nd of May 2013.

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