‘Les Miserables’ on the Big Screen
‘Les Miserables’ is a long-running musical set in France in the 1800s, and has been shown in theaters the world over. The story follows the character Jean Valjean who, after being released from prison for stealing bread, is hounded by police Inspector Javert. The Inspector is bound and determined to put him back behind bars.
In the big screen adaption of the musical, Hugh Jackman plays the main character of Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe plays Inspector Javert. Their lives are intertwined with the story of Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a struggling factory worker and mother of Cosette. Sacha Baron Cohen plays Thenardier, a thief and an innkeeper who is married to Madame Thenardier, played by Helena Bonham Carter. The two house and abuse Cosette after her mother’s death.
The story culminates during the 1832 June Rebellion in France, and the characters all have their stories unfold in various ways leading up to that time. It is a rich and grand drama and an epic period piece and costume drama that many will love. Hugh Jackman may not be known as a star of musicals to American audiences who are more familiar with his part as the raging superhero Wolverine in the ‘X-Men’ franchise of movies, but Hugh actually got his start in acting in the theater. Anne Hathaway is also known for her very talented singing voice which she has shared on occasion, and Russell Crowe is one of the most powerful actors working today.
Because the story is so long and all-encompassing, it may not appeal to absolutely everyone. It’s setting, in 1800s France, may also make it difficult to understand and relate to on a personal level. Those who love musicals and large-scale love stories may find it’s the perfect choice for them, and it may be a good date night movie. It’s very sympathetic which may appeal to a wide audience. However, it may be a bit over the top for most and may be too far-reaching for some to follow the story. It might not appeal to children because of the setting and the situations, and they may have a hard time following the story. It may also be somewhat disturbing to them, to see a person in prison and to see the adult situations they need to handle.
Use some discretion when deciding on taking your family, but for the grownups, ‘Les Miserables’ may be a great choice for a great night out.