Last night I made something that I rarely do, watch a movie hahaha! But really I rarely watch movies since most of the time I think that I don't get value for my money. If I do get to see one, I usually watch Tagalog romance movies -cheesy I know hahaha!. But this time I paid for an English movie, I think this is a very good exception and a very good decision on my part. What movie was it? Les Miserables.
Now let's get down to the business. What do I think about movie? hmmm well before I go ahead and make a general statement whether it is good or bad let me break things down for you first.
The casting director really did a good job in picking the actors specially the ones who actually excelled more than the actors on stage.
Anne Hathaway (Fantine) - Totally nailed it! She deserves an Oscar for her performance. There were lots of people in the movie house including families with teenage boys and girls and right after Anne's I dream a dream performance, I heard people saying "did you just cry?" to their friends and family left and right. Only stone-cold hearted people would not shed even a single tear with that performance, and maybe those were just sleeping while the movie was running -they are people who aren't just interested with the movie!
Russel Crow (Javert)- Ugh.... How would I start describing his performance..... Well to fair his acting was really okay, after all Russel Crow is a very good actor I even watch his movie A Beautiful Mind on DVD over and over up to now. But I guess his singing really wasn't working, I know that some of you would say well he is not a singer duh!? But then again he is in a musical don't you think he should step up? Another theory that I have in my head is that he really did a good performance, you know acting, singing and all that but his co-actors were really just so awesome that I find his singing mediocre -it lacks character and dynamics, doesn't really tell a story much if you listen to the singing alone. See for your self with the video below that's pretty much how he sang the whole length of the movie.
Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (Monsieur and Madame Thénardier -The Inn Keepers) - Lived through my expectations hahaha! Yes they were indeed funny great performance for the two though I find the stage play actors better Sacha and Bonham were really great. One thing I just noticed is that a lot of us (Pinoys) didn't get the humor most of the time of the inn keepers most of the time, I mean I was like fool being the only one laughing at the cinema! =(
Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean) - I didn't see a trace of Hugh Jackman with Jean Valjean, all I can see in the movie was the character and no one else. So what I am trying to say is Hugh Jackman really did awesome in the movie I can't even compare it to the actor who did it on stage, it would just be unfair! Well unfair for both as the two actors really are superb its just that I feel that Hugh Jackman gave a different dimension to the character.
Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) - Though one of the shortest appearances as far as the main actors are concerned Amanda Seyfried really did gave justice to the character just like how I imagined Cossette would be like, dreamy, romantic and loving.
Eddie Redmayne (Marius Pontmercy) - Probably the best Marius that I have ever seen better the than the one on stage -singing and acting wise. His performance had that extra ugh! compared to the kid on stage. He was soulful and his acting was so unrestrained giving the emotions that extra shot of expresso.
Samantha Barks (Eponine) - Just like on stage Samantha Barks delivered! her performance on the movie was superb! it was the first time that I saw Eponine that way specially when Marius was holding her as she was lying down in barricades dying. Somewhere over the Internet there have been debates and cyber quarrels about who is better as Eponine is it Lea Salonga or Samantha Barks. Hey both actors are great and they always deliver though one of them has a stronger voice it really is unfair to compare both and to say that one is better because the other one got into the movie. Tell you what both actors are awesome! Lea had moved up to the role of Fantine so no more Eponine roles for her, come on she has grown older and yes she was not casted as Fantine as well why? Duh? Imagine a french woman that looks Asian? come on if they did that people would be reacting the same way as to how M. Night Shyamalan did to the Fire Benders, instead of casting east Asian guys he cast Indians (no offense to Indian, not because you are not good actors because you are its because its inaccurate and in consistent with the comic book series.
Enough about the characters so how about the Film it self, you know general atmosphere and cinematography?
The cinematography is great I like the artsy angles and shots they consistently have throughout the movie. The rule of thirds was used a lot and again let me say it CONSISTENTLY. I was really satisfied with how they framed the movie. Though with lighting I think there are some shots that could have been given a little bounce of light, like when Eponine was walking in the rain and singing I could barely see her eyes. But yeah I think that is forgivable.
One thing that I didn't like about the movie was the excessive motion blur like when the workers was shown while the camera was moving on the rail, It was really blurry that I cant see the actors properly. Other than that I am pretty much like every thing.
I said last night on my facebook account that I think some of the lines were altered and omitted, I am not quite sure about that now. I checked the libretto of the play and the part that I was suspecting that was altered really wasn't not. Still I am not sure that everything stayed the same.... So I'll research more about it. ;)
Despite Russel Crowe's weak singing and an occasional motion blur that annoyed me I say that Les Miserables is something that you should watch in the movie house. It is one fine piece of art work that you should experience.
The way how they pieced this movie together makes me embarrased to even call it a commercial film. For me it is an art film it is a part of our history as a human. So I'd say I'd give the movie FIVE THUMBS UP!
Go on and catch Les Miserables while you can at your nearest cinema.