Victor Hugo's widely acclaimed French novel 'Les Miserables' will continue to remain a much loved classic despite the fact that its film adaptation isn't something we'd recommend - Golden Globe award, Oscar nomination withstanding. It's more exhausting than exhaustive, and may even risk ruining fond memories you have of the French Revolution from history class.
What's it about?
'Les Miserables' is set against the backdrop of the Revolution, where prisoner Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) escapes from under the nose of officer Javert (Russell Crowe). While convict number 24601 (as Jackman's character is referred to) turns over a new leaf and adopts the daughter (Amanda Seyfried) of poor factory worker Fantine (Anne Hathaway), Javert doesn't give up his hunt for him. The climax coincides with the conclusion of the French Revolution years later.
The beautiful landscapes and picture perfect scenes, reminiscent of 19th century France, are beautifully captured. Moments like when Hathaway is forced to turn to prostitution, make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
However, the musical does get tedious after a while. The pantomime style of story-telling was a big turn off. The long monologues almost sent us running towards the nearest exit. Characters bursting into song and dance at the drop of the hat became a bit too much to take after a point. The saving grace was Hathaway, who delivers a heart-wrenching performance and stands out, despite her role being only a cameo.
Crowe, as the hard-boiled police officer, is good, but somehow his obsession with recapturing Valjean isn't convincing enough. Jackman is believable and his father-daughter scenes between him Seyfried are touching. Also, two thumbs up to Mr and Madame Thenardier (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) who give you the creeps with their wacky performances. Their freakishly corrupt behaviour is loathsome and one of few things to look forward to in an otherwise tiring film.
What to do?
Watch 'Les Miserables' and risk leaving the theatre, well, miserable.
in.com rating- 1.5/5
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