Les Miserables (12A), directed by Tom Hooper, is based in 19th century France during the revolution. It follows the journey of a prisoner on parole, and the decisions he makes which will change his life for the better.
Before visiting the cinema today, many of my friends warned me of the emotional journey the film would take me on. However, I didn’t realise the extent of the emotional qualities of the film. I found myself constantly welling up, and also the middle-aged men around me, reduced to tears. Personally, I am unable to imagine a 12 year old being able to cope with the intense scenes of emotion without becoming bored or overwhelmed with sadness unless, of course, they have a particular interest in musicals.
After being told all the scenes were filmed whilst the actors sung live, I expected great things. However, it never occurred to me that, unlike other musicals, almost every word would be sung. Many people would imagine the actors voices would begin to strain towards the end of filming but, in fact, their voices remained extremely strong throughout.
I was particularly impressed by Russell Crowe’s (Javert) voice as it bellowed out, and above the other’s voices. Which I thought was ironic as he played a superior character. Samantha Barks (Eponine) also had a strong voice, I thought her solo was powerful and full of emotion, causing the audience to well up once again.
The character of Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone) also had an impressive voice as a young ‘cheeky-chappy’ who always managed to lighten the mood and put a smile on everyone’s face, similar to Mr & Mme Thenardier who seemed to be a pair of jokers.
Credit must also be given to the love shown between Marius (Eddie Redmayne) and Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). The relationship between them was extremely believable, and the duets heartfelt.
Without a doubt, for most women, the eye candy of the film was Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean). As the main character, the audience followed closely to his emotions, crying when he cried and smiling when he did. The emotion in every word he said or sung, was so powerful that it hooked the audience on, from the very beginning.
Anne Hathaway (Fantine) may have had a small part but there is no denying the beauty of her voice and the power of her heartfelt songs, although she died as the film began, we attached to her quickly, therefore her story and emotion was overwhelming for the whole audience. We, also, cannot forget the cutting of her own hair, showing her true commitment to such an unforgettable character.
Overall, the film was overwhelming with emotion, but definitely a must-see with live singing and an emotional roller coaster, Tom Hooper (Director) has impressed all and reduced, even the toughest men to tears.