Just two days back, I was invited by ilovebooks.com to attend the movie premiere of Les Miserables!
Movie description from the official website:
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever.
Les Misérables is the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year. Helmed by The King's Speech's Academy Award®-winning director, Tom Hooper, the Working Title/Cameron Mackintosh production stars Hugh Jackman, Oscar® winner Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Les Miserables (literal translation: The Miserable Ones) is based on the critically-acclaimed, similarly-named novel by Victor Hugo. As you can see from the above description, this French classic has also been adapted into a 27-year-old musical production in Europe; it's even older than me LOL. With its star-studded cast and original fanbase, the media hype over this film has been tremendous even before its official release.
Here is the official trailer:
As someone who has never read the book nor seen the musical before, I literally went into the cinema not knowing what to expect. I didn't even know it was a musical drama film, so you can probably imagine my expression when the characters started singing all their lines! My friend was really taken aback by this, but I loved it. I really liked how ordinary sentences could be spun into different tunes to convey the intensity of the characters' emotions, so viewers could connect with the story easily. The successful pairing of music and lines made certain scenes truly poignant and beautiful T.T I can't speak for the other movie-goers, but I found myself weeping uncontrollably by the end of the movie.
In my personal opinion, the cast really outdid themselves in terms of both acting and singing. I never knew Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman could sing so well, as I've always known them to be movie stars instead! I'd never heard of Samantha Barks before, but her portrayal of Éponine and her unrequited love for Marius (Eddie Redmayne) was really outstanding. I also loved young Cosette (Isabelle Allen) and her rendition of Castle on a Cloud. That scene wasn't very long, but it stuck with me and displayed Allen's angelic voice perfectly-one of my favourites in the film!
The only thing I couldn't really appreciate would be the romance between Marius and teenaged Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). While Seyfried looked gorgeous as always and Redmayne exuded a sort of boyish charm that made me fall for him instantly, I was uncomfortable with the way their relationship was portrayed. It felt very rushed and undeveloped in a way that left me unmoved throughout the course of their romance. Nonetheless, I was willing to overlook the lacking romance as there were other plot elements which made up for it.
All in all, Les Miserables was indeed an emotionally-charged tale packed with twists and turns at every corner. It is not a movie I will forget anytime soon, that's for certain! If you're interested to learn more about the movie and the book itself, you can find the e-book here.
Many thanks to ilovebooks.com for giving me the opportunity to review such a brilliant film!