Les Miserables Movie Review

In a word, I found it tedious.


I didn’t much care for the idea of singing out every line. I am only lightly knowledgeable about Les Miserable songs, and I didn’t like having to figure out when they are singing or starting to sing one of them or are just declaring something. I don’t know what that adds to the experience.

The singing itself isn’t particularly good. Some high points, but nothing earth shattering. Éponine is the plum character that gets to sing ‘On My Own’, probably the best rendered song in the movie, but other than that I can’t say any of the other songs impressed.

I also did not care for the incoherent almost rambling story, jumping from Jean Valjean’s story of enlightenment and hide and seek with Javert, Fantine’s downward spiral into prostitution and Valjean’s eventual promise of taking care of Cosette. Suddenly there is talk of revolution and you wonder where the hell that all fits into this story, until you realize its main protagonist is a love interest in Cosette, but that somehow is supposed to tie into how they’re all oppressed by the French government.

I’m aware epics set in the 18th century of this kind are made that way, but that’s making excuses. The whole thing left me writhing in my seat either confused or impatient to get to the next scene that would hopefully tie it all up together. It didn’t happen so I just ended up hungry and wondering what to eat afterwards.

I don’t know if I should argue the need for this to be interpreted in a more modern fashion as much as I know where exactly this version fails. What I do know is that it bored the living crap out of me. Which is sad really, because Les Miserables is a timeless story that aims to talk about The Miserable amongst us. The poor, the oppressed, those who look upon the heavens wondering if there is any hope. Always a worthwhile goal. I wish it was done better because this didn’t do any of those who suffer any favors.


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