Les Miserables is un‘mis’able

Paige Parks

Name: Les Miserables (PG-13)

Director: Tom Hooper

Rating: 8.5/10

Now playing at: Regal Lakeline Mall 9, Cinemark Cedar Park, Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek, and Galaxy Moviehouse and Eatery.

On Dec. 252012, “Les Miserables”, the highly acclaimed musical, made the transition from Broadway to the big screen. The movie, adapted from the novel written by Victor Hugo, takes place in 19th century France during the rise of the French Revolution. Overall, this movie was exceptional. All the actors did a spectacular job of portraying their characters and conveying their emotions.

The movie follows the life of Jean Valjean, a former slave who starts a new life and adopts the young daughter of a struggling woman. Valjean and his daughter, Cosette, are constantly moving to protect his identity from Javert who, if Valjean is recognized, will place him back in slavery. Trouble arises when Cosette falls in love with a revolutionary named Marius. Though Cosette begs her father to stay, Valjean senses that townspeople know who he is and is convinced they must leave. The end of the movie follows the love of Cosette and Marius, the history between Valjean and Javert, and the revolutionary hopes of Marius and the young rebels.

The all star cast includes Hugh Jackman (Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert), Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette), Sacha Baron Cohen (Thenardier), Helena Bonham Carter (Madame Thenardier), Samantha Barks (Eponine), along with other seasoned actors. However, the actress that stood out was Samantha Barks as Eponine. Barks plays the role of a lovesick and heartbroken girl who pines for Marius only to find that he loves Cosette, her childhood friend. Barks, who played Eponine on stage in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert, had the most beautiful voice out of all the actors. Barks was also the most relatable while portraying her character.

The movie was surprisingly captivating, contrary to my preconceived notions. What I thought was going to be a boring historical film turned out to be an interesting and tear-jerking musical. The collection of astonishing actors adds a sense of reality to the harsh plot of life in an unfortunate situation. The fact that all the singing was recorded live, as opposed to the traditional pre-recording and lip synching, made a huge contribution to the realness of the film. Though some have commented that the singing quality was not meeting the expected standards, I strongly disagree. The whole point of singing live was for the actors to sing as the characters would. This gave the characters such a lifelike quality which drew the audience into the film.

After viewing this movie I vowed to myself that I should return and see it again, and I suggest it to anyone who has an appreciation for theatre or history.