You could watch one of the other musicals if you really wanted. I think they're on Youtube (not 100% certain). Honestly, I'm not going to touch anything till I've seen the film, just to make it that much more special.
Jesus, this is going to be one of the best movies of the year isn't it?
I said I wasn't going to watch any of the musicals or read the book, but I cracked and bought the book (1300 page? Bloody hell its long) and watched the 25th Anniversary Musical, and it was amazing. A tip for anyone going to see this movie, bring a box of tissues, maybe two.
And what a miserable experience it was. That's a compliment. More than once it brought a tear to my eyes. And I'm not a very emotional man. It's a very miserable film, just what you'd expect from a title that translates to "The Miserable".
The film tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine, and must avoid being captured again by Javert, a police inspector.
Unlike most musical films, no singing was recorded in a studio. It was all sung live on set, and it overall works. It didn't work so well for the larger songs like "One Day More" which comes off as a bit of a mess, but for most other songs it gives a much more personal and emotional sound to the songs.
One of the best parts of the film was easily Anne Hathaways' portrayal of Fantine, especially her performance of "I Dreamed A Dream". That whole song, which is done in one long take, is incredibly emotional. She whispers, she sobs, she cries out, and she does it all while singing beautifully. Placing it after "Lovely Ladies" rather than before made it all the more tragic.
The weakest link was easily Russell Crowe playing Javert. While he's not a bad singer, he's far out matched by everyone else. This is obvious in "Confrontation" with Hugh Jackman. He certainly wasn't as bad as previews seemed to make him out to be though, and he did a great job in "Javerts Soliloquy". Him giving Gavroche his medal was a touching moment as well.
Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as Mr. and Mrs. Thenardier are the only comedic elements to be found and they do their job incredibly well. Perhaps too well, they do feel a tad too comical at times. Doesn't help they look like they stepped right out of a Tim Burton film. "Master Of The House" is bloody funny anyhow.
"Suddenly" is a whole new song not present in any previous version of Les Miserables. It allows Valjean to express both his excitement and fear of becoming a father to Cosette. And it's a good song. But it's not a great one unfortunately.
I wholeheartedly recommend this. Some great and emotional performances ("I Dreamed A Dream" and "On My Own"), a decent song that fans of the stage musical won't have heard before and while it does have some underwhelming moments ("Stars" and "One Day More") it makes up for it in nearly every other aspect of the film.
I can easily say I felt for every character in that filmed, and I can't come up one that I didn't like. I'll agree with Carey and say that Crowe was the weakest of the bunch, but, to me, he was by no means bad. The standouts were Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Samantha Barks. They deserve every award they win.
The songs were spectacular. Honestly, I loved every single one, so I have to disagree with you there, Carey. But I will agree that the two best, and most emotional, songs were "I Dreamed A Dream," and "On My Own". Seriously guys, I teared up when both of them came on, especially "I Dreamed A Dream". It was amazing how much emotion Hathaway put into her performance of that, not as much as Barks did in "On My Own," but it was phenomenal nonetheless.
My favorite characters were Fantine (of course), Epinone and Jean (basically the strongest of the cast). I cried, yes I cried, when they met their unfortunate end, and it brought a smile to my face when they appeared, along with the other deceased characters, at the end when they went into the final number.
By the end, it had me in tears. I will admit it, I cried like a baby. XD I'm pretty sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I thought the cast was phenomenal, the songs were spectacular, and the set/costumes just put the cherry on top. Overall, I totally recommend you go and see this. Like I said above, there wasn't one single character I hated, same with the songs. This is definitely one of my, if not the, favorite films of this year all time.
CREATOR Reality l The Super Teens l Audition
CO-CREATOR Tomb Raider (with Chris Davis on MZPtv)
CURRENTLY WRITING Audition l 5.11 "World Premiere" The Super Teens l 2.14 "Super Gem"
-"Stars" is one of my favourite songs and Russell Crowe barely showed any emotion throughout it at all. It's not as bad as I made out but still a disappointment
- I forgot to mention "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", that was so tear educing. Eddie Redmayne done an excellent job at Marius.
- Shame that they never established that Gavroche was Eponine's brother, but at least there was a shot in "A Little Fall of Rain" with him crying as she died. Also that shot of his body lined up next to hers after the battle.
- That also goes to show how despicable the Thenardiers were when you realise that they really don't care that both their son and daughter are dead.
- That CRACK! when Javert committed suicide was the most out of place thing in the film. I almost burst out laughing it was so bad.
- I also noticed that the Bishop was played by Colm Wilkinson, the original Valjean in Broadway and West End musicals