Based on the historical novel written by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables is a British musical taking place in 19th-century, post-revolutionary France that chronicles the life of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who breaks parole to make a new life for himself using a different identity. From there, the film spans over a course of 17 years, whereby Valjean vows to look after an employee’s daughter Cosette, all while evading the wrath of inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) and keeping his past a secret from Cosette. As a young woman, Cosette falls in love with Marius, a student of the revolution and Valjean decides to leave as he believes his presence endangers Cosette.
Was this movie entertaining? Sort of. Personally, I am not a huge fan of musicals and I knew that this movie would be a stretch for me. For the most part, the acting was pretty good. I was expecting to tag Anne Hathaway as over-rated but her performance was way better than I anticipated. Hugh Jackman was good but not outstanding enough to be in contention for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were perfectly cast as the evil innkeepers and delivered entertaining performances.
Did I think about the movie much afterwards? With the exception of the complete mis-casting of Russell Crowe as Javert, I did not think about the movie at all afterwards. The move was long, long, long…what could be effectively expressed in a sentence was bellowed out in a song. I know, I know, it is a musical. I get it but, like I said, not my cup of tea.
Would I see it again? No. Would I recommend it to others? It depends. If you liked or loved the stage version, I suggest you see this film. Chances are, you will enjoy it. If you did not like the stage version but do enjoy musicals, there is a 70% chance that you will like the movie more than the stage version. With that in mind, it is up to you to decide if you want to take the chance of falling in the 30% who will not like the movie version either. Finally, if you don’t like musicals or are indifferent about musicals, I suggest you pass as it is highly likely that you will not like the movie enough to spend $9 to see it. And ladies, DO NOT drag your boyfriend or husband to go see the movie with you, particularly if they don’t like musicals. They will not like the movie and you will gain more points by giving them a free pass to stay home.