Les Miserables, the movie

I’m not writing to review the movie but rather to rave about it, well some parts of it anyway.

Finally I got the chance to watch this after having missed it in the cinemas. These days I think I can count off the number of movies I catch at the cinemas in a few months on one hand.

I’d watched the musical twice, once when they came to Singapore about 19-20 years ago (wow it has been that long!) and it was performed at the Kallang Theatre, and the second time in London also several years back. I’m not someone who grasps musicals well because I have a problem at times making out the lyrics and therefore meanings are missed. So from both times where I caught the musical there were some parts that were lost to me. Somehow the movie afforded me a better and deeper appreciation of the plot and its development and after this, I think I wouldn’t mind watching the musical again, because it is just awesome listening to the live singing alongside the theatrical performance of the stage actors.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the movie and I think Anne Hathaway did an amazing job as Fantine, and her singing was great, not compromised by the need to act and emote at the same time. The singing by the rest of the cast was also not too bad, but I do agree fully with what everyone else commented about Russell Crowe’s Javier; a total letdown. His acting is fine, but the singing was just flat. Though this inspector character is some sort of a villain, both times when I watched the musical, Javier’s part was very well played out coupled with strong vocals. I guess for stage, singing prowess is very important, whereas movies are a different playing field altogether. That was how the movie version of Phantom apparently flopped. I caught the movie when it screened but have yet to watch the musical!

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