Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Les Miserables

Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables
[Image taken from here]

Earlier today, I went to see Les Miserables at the movie theater. I really liked it. As you probably already know, Hugh Jackman plays the protagonist Jean Valjean in this latest interpretation; yes, Wolverine plays a French ex-convict-turned-mayor-turned-saintly-adopted-father. I honestly found that a bit hard to swallow when I first heard about it, but I have to say that I really think Jackman played the role very convincingly. Personally, I would have envisioned an older actor in that role, but Jackman pulls it off with much gravitas and presence. Russell Crowe is also quite convincing (although not intensely badass enough, in my opinion) as Inspector Javert. And actually, the best acting in my opinion goes to Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter, who play the Thenardiers, the money-hungry and morally corrupt inn-keeping couple who swindle unsuspecting patrons.

This is really a very neither-here-nor-there attempt at a movie review. It's really very difficult to say much about a work that appeals to me at so many levels. Let me just say this: As somebody who intensely loves the original musical (btw, I don't know why more Americans do not love musicals), I can't watch even a minimally credible interpretation of this work without being profoundly moved. I actually know the lyrics to many of the songs by heart (I know, I'm really a musical geek), and I find it just impossible to watch Les Miserables without having that powerful feeling that our lives, insignificant as they seem, are part of something much, much bigger. As Jean Valjean sings at the end, "To love another person is to see the face of God." Powerful stuff. I highly, highly recommend it.


  1. Just wanted to say that I'm another musical geek, and Les Mis is on the top of my best musicals list. Watched the movie last weekend and I was impressed with the screen adaptation, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. Pity about Russell Crowe's voice though he did look adorable like an angry teddy bear. I'm going back for seconds! :D

    1. I can certainly imagine that watching Les Mis would be a good way to re-acclimatize to life in the western world after Mysore :-)

      As for Russell Crowe, I think the consensus among many critics is that he can sing, but he cannot sing *and* act.