Movie Review: Les Miserables (2012)
My favorite author of all time will always be Victor Hugo. I read the unabridged version of Les Miserables when I was but a boy of 16 and I always say it’s my favorite book of all time. No other book comes close. But let’s not dwell on how beautiful the book is. I’m here to do a review of perhaps the movie of 2012. I’m not going to dawdle on the details nor am I going to bring you the staples of movie reviews.
I’m here to simply tell you to watch this movie with all the good reasons of both book and musical fans alike. The books will always be better than the movies. The musicals come close second. But what if you had a MUSICAL-MOVIE of a book? It makes perfect sense. Time and time again, producers have put Les Miserables on screen like any other movie. It was only this one time that it was done in such an artistically motivated manner. I couldn’t imagine how hard filming this movie let alone gather the right people for the right roles. I’m sure as hell that the costumes crew had their hands on needle and paint 24/7. But it all was worth the fight.
The cast was great. The acting, greater. They say movies can’t really emulate the feelings the readers have with books but this film made me want to cry. And to be honest, my heart sobbed as I relived the scenes that made me want to curse the world when I first read them. And I quote from Hauteville House 1863, found on the page before the first chapter begins.
So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation which, in the midst of civilization, artificially creates a hell on earth, and complicates with human fatality a destiny that is divine; so long as the three problems of the century–the degradation of man by the exploitation of his labor, the ruin of woman by starvation, and the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night–are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a still broader point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, there should be a need for books such as this.
Back to the movie, it was a marvelous thing of spectacular sights and sounds, the vivid display of the rich and beautiful transformation from such a humble literature. Oh yes, it was quite the show. The movie does what musicals cannot and that is to ensure that their message reaches millions of pairs of eyes in such a short amount of time. It was summed well and each character’s time, no matter how short, still makes the audience laugh with their joys and sympathize with their grief.
Small wonder this movie got the nominations they had and won the awards they deserved to have. This movie is a must see and already I’m seeing this as future classic film in decades to come. This is a wonderful piece of art they did and will always be remembered.
If only a perfect 10 would suffice but I fear I may taint my love of the story with such a belittling method of judgment. Do them a bit of justice and visit their Facebook page.
P.S. Grantaire was the guy that joined Enjolras during the destruction of the barricade. And with him, one of my most memorable quotes of all time.