Most people will argue that the magic of a Broadway musical can’t be captured on the big screen, but “Les Misérables” is doing its best to prove those people wrong.
“Les Misérables” is set in post-Revolutionary France, and follows the lives of Fantine, Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, Cosette, Marius and Éponine. The viewer watches as the lives and hardships of these people unfold,.
What sets “Les Misérables” apart from other musicals-to-movies like “Grease” is how the singing is done. Normally, the vocals for the movie are recorded months in advance or in post-production, but this musical breaks tradition by having the actors sing live.
Anne Hathaway provides a moving performance as Fantine, bringing an emotional side to her part that will make anyone, no matter how hard-hearted, cry. Her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream,” varies from the traditional aspects. The power that a Broadway performer would bring isn’t there, but what she lacks in power, she certainly makes up with emotion.
Hugh Jackman brings Jean Valjean to screen with such power and life it’s hard to remember that it’s a movie and not a window into someone else’s life. He worked physically too, not drinking water for three days to have the haggard look needed. During the beginning of the movie, Jackman is so drastically different from what he normally looks like.
The movie is also proving to be very successful with awards, picking up the Golden Globe awards Best Actor with Hugh Jackman, Best Supporting Actress with Anne Hathaway and the prestigious Best Picture award.
Overall, while the singing of the actors doesn’t match that of the Broadway performers such as Lea Solonga (Éponine) or Colm Wilkinson (Valjean), the emotions are a match for any other portrayal with a movie. It’s believability is unparalleled with other movies, bringing out amazing acting and set design.
The whole movie never stops being shocking as to how real and concrete the overall plot is. Even though it’s set in such a different time, the themes and problems in the story are still relevant today, making watching it even harder to believe that it’s just fiction. It is a movie to be remembered.
It deserves a 5/5.