Thursday, 27 December 2012

Les Miserables 2012-review

Based on the novel of the same name,Les Miserables is a musical on the plights people faced during the French Revolution in Paris directed by King's Speech  Tom Hooper with a big ensemble cast consisting of Hugh Jackman,Anne Hathawat,Amanda Seyfried,Russell Crowe,Eddie Redmayne and many more.

The film is about a Jean Valjean(Hugh Jackman) a prisoner in parole who cant find a job or a place in the society decides to shed his life as Jean Valjean and start a new life during the French revolution.8 years later he gained some wealth and now is the mayor of the town.With Inspector Javert(Russel Crowe) making his main goal to catch him,Valjean lives in paranoia which made him unaware of the the sacking of Fantine(Anne Hatthaway)a single mother with a sickly child Cossette,who works for him.Unable to get enough money,Fantine eventually becomes a prostitute only after selling her hair and tooth.When Jean Valjean discovers Fantine in this condition and is so sick herself,he promises to take care of her child as his own with Javert hunting him down.Whether Jean Valjean succeed in raising Cossette by not getting caught by Javert with the subplot of the love triangle of Eponine(Samantha Barks),Cossette(Amanda Seyfried) and Marius (Eddie Redmayne) during the peak of the revolution is what the rest movie is all about.

Tom Hooper,who won  the Best Director  for King's Speech deserves all the accolades the film is receiving. His direction style perfectly suited in this film.His affinity to focus on the face of the actors especially during the emotional numbers for instance Anne Hathaways I Dreamed a Dream and Eddie Redmayne 'Empty Chairs and Empty Table' worked brilliantly.

The live singing definitely enhance the performance of the cast.My favourite would number would be 'On My Own' by Samantha Barks, 'I Dreamed A Dream' by Anne Hatthaway, 'A Heart of Full of Love' by Amanda Seyfried,'ABC CafĂ©/Red and Black' by  Enjolras and the company and finally 'Do Hear The People Sing' by the entire cast except Marius and Cossette.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine is my favourite in the film.Fantine is a tragic character which symbolises the death of hope and even though only appearing for a short amount of time,the demise of Fantine is beautifully portrayed by Anne Hathaway.Her rendition of 'I Dreamed a Deam' was so haunting that you could physically feel the pain of the character Fantine goes through.It was a honest,raw and intense performance from Hathaway I do strongly believe that she deserves to win the Best Supporting Actress in this year's Academy Award.Another standout was Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean who basically is in every scenes in the film.He brilliantly portrayed the different stages of lives and maturity of Jean Valjean  and it is shocking  that he has not been nominated for an Oscar before.I personally felt his performance in The Prestige was great and deserved a nomination on that particular year but he was 10 times better as Jean Valjean in the film.Another perfect casting as I don't see anyone but Hugh Jackman could pull of this role well on screen.

While I wholeheartedly agree that both Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway gave the best performance of their careers and deserves all the attention they are getting right now,I would also like to mention how equally great is the supporting cast in this film.Starting with Samantha  Barks as the tragic Eponine.I guess its the Broadway background that made her to nail all the subtle emotions with ease and not to forget  her superb vocal abilities.My another favourite would be Aaron Tveit as the heroic Enjolras.I just adore this character and he  really did a good job in portraying this character.He has really lots of intense scenes with other characters and he was brilliant in all of them especially at the climax of the film.Both the kids who plays the younger Cossete and Gavroche was at par with the adults when it comes to singing and the acting  and will definitely make you shed tears(I did).Both Russel Crowe and Amanda Seyfried who plays Javert and Cossette respectively had been getting a lot negative attention for their singing based on the trailers but to be honest their singing was surprisingly good.Russell Crowe singing and portrayal of Javert gets better as the movie progresses and his both solos(especially one at the end) was brilliant.The adult Cossette is a underwritten character but Amanda Seyfried gives a convincing performance  of the soft and demure girl.Her chemistry with Eddie Redmayne and Hugh Jackman was really good and unlike others,I loved her singing in the film.As for Eddie Redmayne performance as Marius, its a  bags of mixed feelings.He was really good in most of the scenes especially his rendition of 'Empty Chairs and Empty Table' which was super emotional.However during some of his earlier scenes I felt his singing was a bit over the top.

The sets are magnificent with the barricade scene being the best and the costume and makeup are astounding.I really loved the subtle makeup that is on Hugh Jackman to age him.The scenes with the prostitutes are another scene where the makeup and costume shines even though its on the extreme side.

In the end,Les Miserables is a beautiful adaptation of the beloved Broadway show packed with some of the strongest performance of the year and by far the best film technically wise.

Contenders for the following categories:

Best Film
Best Director
Best Actor-Hugh Jackman
Best Supporting Actor-Russell Crowe
Best Supporting Actor-Aaron Tveit
Best Supporting Actress-Anne Hatthaway
Best Supporting Actress-Samantha Barks
Best Original Score
Best Art Direction
Best Costume and Designs
Best Hair and Makeups



Dan O. said...

Fine review Franklin. A valiant effort to create a more authentic approach to the musical genre, Tom Hooper's Les Misérables is often far too self-serious and humorless for its own good and not all of the actors can sing well, but the performances of Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway make up for some of the flaws.

F.FRANKLIN said...

@Dan.O I agree with the things you say.

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