Actually I’m not a fan of musical movies. The only one I was really satisfied with is The Phantom of The Opera (in Bahasa Indonesia). However, being the latest adaptation of one of Hugo’s masterpieces, and with a numerous talented actors/actresses playing here, I was intrigued at last to take a try on this Tom Cooper’s production. This is not a movie critic, it’s just how I thought of the movie, and it might be somehow biased.
Right after the first scene was on screen, Russell Crowe had drawn my attention. And I kept wondering during the film, wouldn’t Crowe be the more suitable casting for the constantly-brooding Jean Valjean, while Hugh Jackman could play the ever enthusiastic law servant Javert? I still think that would be more interesting. But anyway…I’ve never been in the movie industries…so, it’s just my personal opinion. But I was constantly admiring Javert slightly more than Valjean throughout the film—it’s perhaps because Crowe is so adorable and carries charismatic air in his uniform! Oh, just ignore my fangirling here… :)
The rest of the castings are pretty OK, although I still really don’t understand why Monsieur and Madame Thénardier must be made like a pair of clowns in Disney’s movies. Really!.... It’s only Éponine who is not as I’ve expected. She is lovelier than what I remember from the book, and I think her character here is indeed different from the book; she is sweet here, while in the book she is more bitter and determinate, do I remember correctly? But for me, in this film, Samantha Barks (who plays as Éponine) sings most beautifully among the females (and actually more beautiful and “live” than Cossette—played by Amanda Seyfried—who seems meek and unreal). Éponine’s dying scene in Marius’ embrace is the only one that had shed my tears.
Story and Plot
From what I vaguely remember of the book, the story follows the original story quite well. The plot is similar, but of course you cannot make a 1 hour 20s minutes film to cover the original 1000+ pages’ story! The adaptation is less engaging, and there are many parts that is missing, but what more can you expect?
Setting and Costumes
Both the setting and costumes are satisfying to me. The designers have done their homeworks by presenting the working class of France in 19th century.
|Crowe looks good in this|
All in all, this movie is quite entertaining, although sometimes I got bored when the song is too long. My favorite scenes are the opening scene when the convicts singing “Look Down”; Russell Crowe’s “Stars”—I just love the song and Crowe’s sexy voice ;)—and Samantha Banks’ “On My Own”.
Seven to ten stars for this movie!
I watched this for Books Into Movies Monthly Meme #3