Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Les Miserables - Movie Review (Part Two)

On to Part Two! In this part, I'm going to talk about several scenes of the movie.

Beginning scene: I had already watched part of the convicts-pulling-boat scene several times before I actually saw the movie. I think the scene was a very powerful opening to the movie - however, it seemed to me that the pulling was too effortless. It looked as if the men were just handing a length of the rope down to the next one, instead of trying to pull a boat into the harbour. But maybe that's just me...


After release: I think the little snapshots of Jean being forced out of towns was done very well. However...I thought having the Bishop just appearing out of nowhere was a bad move.

Before I move on, I want to just make a note that all the beginning parts of this movie were a love/hate relationship to me. It just seeemed that the story went at a rapid pace, slowed down to a crawl with solos, and sped up again at a maddening pace. I like the main part of the movie better than the beginning.

At the End of the Day: I was certainly not expecting to see all those people in jail! I mean, it makes sense for those times, but after listening to this song so many times before I even watched the movie made me think the common people on the street were singing - sort of like in the animated movie Anastasia. I was fully satisfied with this scene, I think it was done very well.

May I say I thought it was SO COOL that Jean Valjean started a trade in making rosaries?!
Fantine's Demise: I heard some things about the "Lovely Ladies" scene, so I was a little worried about how Fantine's fall from grace was going to be shown. I was pleasantly surprised - the content I was worried about was glossed over and dealt with well. I wouldn't give this movie to anyone under 14 (at the very least), but for someone older like myself (age 17), it was fine.

Ending of the Beginning: Fantine's arrest and death were done beautifully. Master of the House really shows the corruption of society, and is probably the funniest and most disgusting scene of the entire movie. I liked that Jean still gave Cosette the doll, but it wasn't done as nicely in the book, of course. Nothing can beat that beautiful scene. The running-away-from-Javert-with-Cosette was done well, and Javert's "Stars" was --- wow. Javert's walking so close to the edge shows his self-righteousness SO WELL. By that point in the movie, my mom was so disgusted with Javert that she was begging for him to fall off the edge. xD


The Beginning of the Main Action: Paris's "Look Down" was more of something that I was expecting. Gavroche really has some spunk. I thought that Marius' grandfather's one line of "Don't you know how you have shamed our family!" showed the whole Marius/grandfather well in one line. I was disappointed that "The Robbery" came so sudden and out of the blue instead of Jean Valjean coming to the Thenardier's house. I liked ABC Cafe, In My Life, and a Heart Full of Love. However ---- I did find one thing not too logical. Jean Valjean hears Eponine's warning scream and suddenly thinks, "It must be Javert! I must get away!" Waaaaaaaait a second...you hear a random girl screaming in the street, and you immediately think it's Javert? Dude, I know this guy has been tracking you down for a long time, but I don't think a girl would scream if she saw Javert. He's one of the police, after all. He's not that much of a bad guy when he's around other people.

One Day More: Loved, loved, LOVED.


The Revolution Begins: I wasn't expecting "Do You Hear the People Sing?" to be sung at General Lamarque's funeral... I loved the throwing-furniture-into-the-street scene. I have to say, though, some things make a lot more sense (like who those ladies at the barricade are) if you know the book. I liked to see that Grantaire even pitched in - in his own way. *smirks* I totally agree with this joke:


Honestly. Javert just wears a different hat and no one recognizes him? And the boys TRUST him? Umm....wow. I thought the scene when Marius saves the barricade by threatening to blow it up worked really well. "A Little Fall of Rain" was sad, but beautiful. "Bring Him Home" is the last slowing down before everything starts to happen and the revolution starts to fall apart.

The Barricade Boys' Demise: "The Final Battle" was done VERY well. Gavroche's death was touching. The final moment of desperation as the boys try to get away but no one lets them in was even more touching. Enjolras' and Graintaire's death together was super touching for those who know the book. If I hadn't read the book, the scene wouldn't have made as much sense to me.

Jean Saves Marius: The sewers...wow. After reading several chapters of Hugo's discussion of those sewers, I felt that the sewers were done well. Thenardier picking things from dead...or not so dead...bodies was a nod to what he did after the Battle of Waterloo in the book. I missed Javert's "Who are you?" and Jean Valjean's, "Myself", though. Javert's Suicide - I felt a little sad when he fell into the river. Sorry...I liked Russel Crowe. :P Backing up a little, when Jean Valjean just walked away and Javert let him go - that wasn't done well. At all. The book was much better in the respect of that scene.


After the Revolution: The women wiping the blood off the streets was very sad. Marius' "Empty Chairs at Empty Chairs" was chilling. The Marius-and-Cosette-together scene is warming, making the viewer feel that everything is going to be alright again. But then we see Jean Valjean left out of things, going away, and his body weakening - I thought all of that shown in one song was a good way to show all of that material from the book in a few minutes. Marius' and Cosette's wedding was shown in a quick, well-done way - and the Thenardiers at the feast was a good laugh before the end. I liked how the Thenardiers were in disguise, but you could still tell that it was obviously them. Here I make a confession - as Monsieur Thenardier talked to Marius, I couldn't help watching his fake mustache move the entire time.


The End: Jean Valjean's death scene was done very well. I think the choice to replace Eponine with the Bishop to sing with Fantine was a good idea, since Jean didn't know Eponine, while the Bishop was the one who led to Jean Valjean's new life. The very ending, though - when everyone was singing at the barricade. I liked it, but I felt that Jean Valjean and Fantine had nothing to do with the Revolution and it was just a way to tie the two threads of the story together.

Credit Music = Lovely


All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. It goes up there on my top list, up there with The Lord of the Rings. :)

Alyianna's rating: 8.5 out of 10


And here's some more pictures because you can never have enough. ;0

Javert

Jean Valjean and Fantine


young Cosette

Eponine



I'm sorry...this is my sense of humour.

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