Long awaited by many musical fans, the film adaptation of “Les Miserables” did the book and the Broadway show justice when it came to theaters recently.
The star-studded cast, which includes well-known names like Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, brings the emotion of the longest-running show on Broadway to the big screen.
On various occasions throughout the film, audience members are brought to tears.
The show is based off of Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel about France’s 19th century history as well as the French Revolution.
The musical originally began its run in London in the 1980s and soon made its way over to the United States.
Though no longer playing on Broadway in New York, today traveling Broadway groups and Off-Broadway casts are still performing the show throughout the world.
And unlike many other movie renditions of musicals, the cast does not spend the film lip-synching to a prerecorded studio album.
Instead, the actors sing the entire show themselves, a first in musicals-turned-movies history.
Though some believe that singing live weakened the movie because the characters were portrayed by mostly actors and not professional singers, “Les Miserables’” rendition of the songs allowed for a truer, more stage-like performance.
And though the film was filled with well-known actors, many of these performers took on roles very different from their typical characters.
Hathaway’s portrayal of the tragic Fantine was one that personally moved me to tears.
Hathaway was able to capture the raw emotion, passion and despair Fantine’s character is known for possessing.
Not only is her acting believable and heartbreaking, but her voice is also an extremely strong asset for the film.
Hathaway, typically known for cutesy films such as “The Princess Diaries,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Ella Enchanted,” brings to the stage a powerful and moving vocal ability.
Many other actors including Jackman, Crowe and Helena Bonham Carter were also surprisingly good singers and were able to fully capture the essence of their characters.
Perhaps the most shockingly good vocal performance of the film was that of Seyfried.
Often known for her role as the stereotypical blond sidekick, Karen, in “Mean Girls,” Seyfried’s portrayal of the older Cosette is beautiful. Her soprano voice does wonders for the musical score.
Samantha Barks, who plays Eponine, and Daniel Huttlestone, who plays the loveable Gavroche, also sang beautifully and complement Seyfried.
The two are traditional stage performers as opposed to actors and their singing abilities often exceed that of the other characters, but in a way that balances out the film.
“Les Miserables” also does a wonderful job of keeping viewers in the loop of time changes.
Text is flung across the screen various times throughout the film to help those who do not know the story as well keep a timeline.
For musical and movie lovers alike, “Les Miserables” is a must-see.