Les Mis, oh how I love you. If you haven't seen the fantastic movie version of this classic yet, you absolutely must. It has one of the best story lines out there. The book is one of my favorites ever, and I was pleasantly surprised at how closely the musical followed the book. Definitely one of the most accurate movie/book combos I've seen. Of course, there are pieces missing (the book is over 1,000 pages after all), but nothing absolutely crucial to the plot. The Thenardier angle is lacking a bit; Gavroche is actually their son which I don't believe is ever mentioned in the film, and Marius is searching for Thenardier throughout the novel to repay him for (inadvertently) saving his father's life at Waterloo, but doesn't realize he lives right next door because the family lives under the pseudonym 'Jondrette' once they lose the inn and move to Paris. There is also another daughter, Azelma, but the only significant thing she does is punch out a window pane. I felt like the gist, that they're basically wretches who deserve to live at the very lowest level of society, was covered.
But let me just tell you, I found Marius and Cosette's relationship hilarious, because that's pretty much how it goes in the book. One look, and yep, they love each other! It was a little more drawn out in the book of course, complete with a full dosage of Marius literally stalking the poor girl, but hey, whatever works, right? Those two actually made me laugh, out loud, right there in the theater. I just can't. Victor Hugo's creativity apparently fizzled out a bit when it came to that relationship.
And now I need to insert a little historical disclaimer. If I hear one more person mention the French Revolution aspect of the film, I'm going to freak out. The setting does not occur during THE French Revolution, the one in 1789 that everyone knows about. The revolutionary scenes take place post-Waterloo, post-Napoleon, and portray the June Rebellion that took place during the Orleans monarchy in 1832. The insurrection failed, by the way. But they tried.
Here we go. In all honesty, you know I love Les Mis, but I was actually a little annoyed by the amount of singing at first. Like, I knew it was going to be a musical, but did we really have to sing every line? There could've been about 10 really, really powerful musical numbers, and the rest of the characters' interactions certainly could've been communicated through dialogue. I don't know about you, but I certainly wasn't prepared for that amount of singing. Don't get me wrong, it was still great and I still loved it, I just was more focused on the plot than the musical merit I guess.
But anyways, can we just discuss Marius and Enjolras for a minute?
Holy attractive. I couldn't even handle it. Enjolras has been my favorite character from the beginning, because he's just such a stud. He pretty much orchestrates a revolution singlehandedly, no problem. And when I found out that he was going to be played by Aaron Tveit.. stop it. Too perfect. His dying scene? THE BEST. And Eddie Redmayne.. hello. You're perfect. Even though Marius is slightly annoying.. you're fine.
And Gavroche was absolutely precious. He kinda stole the show for me honestly. That little Essex accent was just about too much for me to handle. Every time he came on-screen I couldn't help but smile. And when he died, I may or may not have shed massive amounts of tears. I knew it was going to happen. Still cried. Pathetic.
And even though I wasn't a huge fan of the amount of singing, most of the music was still awesome. I hated when the characters sang dialogue, but the songs sung as soliloquies were all brilliant. Who knew Wolverine could freaking sing!? I was so impressed by Hugh Jackman. And can I just say, Anne Hathaway gets all the credit for how great "I Dreamed a Dream" is, and it was great, but Fantine's not a major character, so it's a little annoying seeing her face plastered everywhere. You're a supporting actress, not the main character. Plus, she doesn't even look like Fantine. Uma Thurman was much more accurate. Sorry, I get a little ranty when it comes to casting. I need it to be perfect. But back to the music. The final song, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" was by far my favorite. Ahhh it was so incredible! I even get chills just thinking about the final scene. Les Mis wasn't my favorite movie ever, but it was pretty darn close, even with the absurd amount of singing, and that's really saying something.