Movie Review: LES MISERABLES

(c) Universal Pictures

Set in 19th Century France, Les Miserables tells an enthralling—and somehow tragic—story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice, and redemption.  Hugh Jackman plays an ex-prisoner named Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks parole.  When Jean Valjean (I just love saying it) agrees to take care for factory worker Fantine’s (Anne Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), their lives changed forever.

(c) Universal Pictures

As we all know, Les Miserables is a movie adaptation of the longest-running musical based on the epic tale by Victor Hugo.  The movie is a spectacular masterpiece made wonderfully by director Tom Hooper (and the same team the brought us The King’s Speech).  The way the movie is executed is magnificent—from the scenic backdrop of old France, to the dark streets where Fantine suffers to her inevitable demise, to the stable yet fragile barricades by the young, revolting students—technically every detail is a sight to behold.  Above all these, what I loved about the movie is how the important singing parts were highlighted in such a way that you would witness, in a very ineptly up-close manner, all the emotions to every song sung.

(c) Universal Pictures

Leading the all-star cast is Hugh Jackman as a slave-turned hero Jean Valjean.  Clearly, Jackman is the shiniest star of them all.  His performance is absolutely gut-wrenching and indisputably brilliant.  Meanwhile, Russell Crowe is a bit of a letdown for me simply because of the way he sings.  He does not in any way sing very well and his voice seems to sound muffled, like a sick Barney.

(c) Universal Pictures

Anne Hathaway delivered a very convincing performance as Fantine, however (and everyone is welcome to disagree with me), while watching her, I can see a fantastic Anne Hathaway portraying a role but did not see Fantine.  Did you get my point?  As for Hugh Jackman, I really felt that he’s Jean Valjean, not Hugh Jackman portraying a role.  I hope I have explained my point well.  All in all, every single cast member did a very commendable performance.

(c) Universal Pictures

Les Miserables is a movie that can be considered as a classic that I can recommend my future grandchildren to watch.  If you love a film that is visually appealing, heartbreakingly tear-jerking, and at the same time a musical masterpiece, this movie is for you.

4.0 out of 5 stars

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