Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Les Miz

As most of us know this classic film by its shortened name, Les Miz,  but it is by no means a film that will be short lived in our movie libraries, on Netflix, on Hulu Plus or on paid per view.  I was asked by Universal Studios Home Entertainment to review this film.  I had not seen it in theaters, though I heard on the big screen it was even more spectacular.  My 16 year old daughter had not seen it either, so we made it a point to see it together.  I really did not know much about the storyline, plot or the characters accept that it was set in wartime France.  I never saw it on Broadway or any of the other films made from the adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel.  The tale of good vs. evil, man vs. woman, God vs. devil, weak vs. strong, rich vs. poor, clean vs. unclean, truth vs. a lie, light vs. dark, loyalty vs. revenge, bravery vs. cowardess, peace against war are just a few of the storyline themes you will encounter while watching the film.
Many people found and thought it a long movie, I never felt like, "when is this going to be over".  It kept me gripped into each moment that stemmed from the scenes before and if you missed any you might be a little lost.  It did take me a few minutes to really hear and get the singing of the lines, but they popped just a few spoken lines in there to warm you up to it.  I felt like the acting was over the top with regards to the depth of emotion they all had to show at one time or another.  The characterization of each person was intently and intensely thought out and made known to the viewer, so you became close to each character.  It was as if you knew them for a long time and had not just met them on the screen.  The acting is superb and all three main characters did an outstanding job.  It was the multiple supporting actors who also gave this movie its fabric that cloaked you with honor, distaste or truth depending on their character.  The struggle to stay above the struggle played a big part of the inner struggles going on within each character.  And yet they all struggled with one another and for one another.  I loved the priest who depicts the Love of Christ who gives Jean Valjean a second chance which really defines who he becomes in the movie, doing what is right and finally owning up to his sin and false identity.  Javert the ruthless policeman wanted to believe and trust God, but also wanted things done his own way.  Not willing to give up his control he fell victim of that pride and control ultimately ending his life.  Fantine the factory worker trusts and believes to a fault of naivety, that leads to her death.  She sees the good in Valjean and entrusts her daughter to him to raise and take care of.  It truly is a testament of the human spirit with a timeless and epic message of hope in that human spirit.  I love how the candlesticks follow Valjean throughout the movie like a cornerstone.

I can not say enough about this film except you should see it.  I would not have younger children watch it only because of its length and subject matter.  Teenage children are much more likely to understand and follow along with its challenging storyline and musical lyrics.  I know it will be a film we will watch over and over from time to time, never gaining too much dust on its jacket.  I appreciate Universal Studios Home Entertainment for giving me the opportunity to review this film.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did, we are, and will to come.
Here is a link to a discussion guide for more information about the film:

You can also go to  http://www.lesmiserablesfilm.com/  for a film clip of the film.

1 comment:

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