This past Saturday I went with my two younger daughters to see Les Miserables. It was supposed to be with all three of my girls but sadly my eldest couldn’t make it. It was a lovely time out however, and perhaps next time all four of us will be able to make it out. But back to the movie…
I will not get into any details about the actual movie itself as not to spoil it for those who are wishing to see it. Anyways I have to start by admitting the show was not entirely what I expected. I knew it was a musical, and had been forewarned that there was A LOT of singing in it, but I did not really anticipate that there would be maybe 20 spoken words throughout the movie’s entirety. I was also aware that it was an epic tale of sorrow (I mean come on now, what can one expect when the name Les Miserables literally means the miserable ones) but I was already crying within the first 5 to 10 minutes. I silently let the tears stream down my face at least 4 times during the movie and honestly if I had been somewhere private watching it I probably would have out ‘n out bawled through its entirety. (Puffy, red eyes, nose running, soft sobs and sniffles – wouldn’t that have been lovely)
As for the content of the show I would say it was very good, great even. If you are not familiar with the story it is an absolutely beautiful yet heart-rending tale of human endurance. It is a poignant tragedy that sparkles with hope. Les Miserables does a beautiful job of juxtaposing the horrific rottenness of extreme poverty and prejudiced judgement against those suffering, and the greatness that one simple act of compassion can bestow and how both of these can affect the human condition. It is about the battle of good and evil within all of us. It captured the conflict of perceived justice versus true repentance and forgiveness; and how we cannot and must not think that we can judge another’s heart or motives. The story shows us how some will cave to the prejudice of the world giving up hope, allowing it to direct our path; while another will rise to the occasion and overcome. Somehow against all odds in the face of deepest poverty and judgment when shown a little kindness some are able to find their faith let it flourish and triumph over the stamp of condemnation placed upon them.
This movie had a little bit of everything in it (I really must read the book). It is a deep underlying tale of human triumph and defeat while combing small moments of humorous relief, scenes of valiant bravery and complete and utter misfortune. And off course what movie is complete without the love at first sight romance? With a bittersweet ending that was in many ways smacking with reality rather than the all too expected Hollywood endings of most movies today I found it highly moving, and inspirational.
Les Miserables: I personally recommend it.