Thursday, 3 January 2013
Les Miserables Review
I wanted to see this not because it's a musical but because it has some very good actors and looked like a very grand production. It doesn't disappoint. There is a lot of emotion throughout the whole story. I may have liked it better if it had just been a film based on the book rather than a film based on a stage musical that is based on a fairly epic book. So I was a bit torn. On the one hand, they can use music combined with majestic visuals to really bring out the emotion. And music can create tone in a film better than even the best dialogue delivery. On the other hand, in telling an epic story exclusively through song, they limit themselves to using lyrics and poetry. How do you find a balance?
In Les Miserables, they do it by sacrificing some of the poetic aspects of song in favour of exposition. There are times when the songs resemble Alanis Morissette at the height of her pretentiousness when her songs didn't have to have rhyme or follow any kind of rhythm. But, even when it does that, the emotion added by the actors makes you ignore it completely and it almost becomes like spoken word rather than song. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the songs were done live rather than overdubbed so it was like delivering traditional dialogue for the actors. The result is one extremely powerful movie where you come out exhausted and entertained at the same time.
The breathtaking sets, superb costumes and makeup, and its heart-wrenching grip on the viewers' emotions make this a "must see it."