i went to see the movie yesterday. since i was by myself and had no one to impress, i watched it during the matinee time starting at 11:45 am. most critics didn’t rate it highly, but for one unexplainable reason, i really liked it. it was worth driving to the theater under the pouring rain.
most of the criticisms have been on the fact that the cast couldn’t sing as well as their broadway counterparts, but this is a different medium. it’s a movie and not a stage musical. i think the performers deserve some leeway on their singing abilities and should be judged as actors first and singers second. as actors, they did an outstanding job. in my estimation, at least two of them are worthy of the oscars.
i arrived at the theater about half an hour early, and to my big surprise, the theater was almost full already. luckily, i found a seat between two ladies. one of them was staring at me like i shouldn’t be there, but i took the seat anyway as there was no other place to go. she probably didn’t want to share her popcorn. i wanted to tell her that sharing her popcorn was totally out of my mind, but i held my tongue as i always do to avoid confrontation.
les misérables is an all-star cast movie adaptation of the musical based on victor hugo’s novel with the same name. set against the backdrop of 19th century france, it revolves around valjean (hugh jackman) being pursued by a relentless police inspector named javert (russell crowe) after he broke his parole. before his parole, he was imprisoned to years of hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving sister’s children.
living under an assumed name, valjean had reinvented himself and crossed paths with other characters that changed his life forever. one of them was the kindly bishop (colm wilkinson) who gave him food and shelter when he was homeless and even forgave him when he stole from him. another was a young mother named fantine (anne hathaway) who valjean thought he had wronged after she was fired at his factory for being an unwed mother. fantine became a prostitute to support her daughter cosette. when she was arrested on the streets, valjean intervened for her and sent her to the hospital where she succumbed to tuberculosis. before she died, valjean made a promise that he would take care of her daughter.
the movie was a tear jerker, alright. towards the end, my neighbor was so emotionally spent like me that she didn’t look boorish anymore. by this time, i would have gladly shared her popcorn if offered. but how about her coke? nah! that, i would have politely refused.