MIME: Wow, they’re still singing.
CAIT: Have they said anything yet?
MIME: Yeah. Jean Valjean said two lines in the barricades.
So that was more or less how our Les Mis experience went at first. Not that I can pronounce anything right. Like, Les Miserables, for instance. I pronounced it Lez Miserable-s… With too much Australian accent… I still can’t say it. It sounds like someone is sneezing and gargling at the same time, elegantly. (Gazuntite.)
Pronunciation aside! It was good. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly what I expected in some areas, and it was more than I expected in others. Basically, I thought the musical side of things would be more like The Phantom of the Opera–dialogue, and songs. But no, the entire thing was singing, with a few phrases thrown in every blue moon. This, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact it prevents those jolts from dialogue to song, and once I got into the flow it was okay…
On that line, the songs were really good. The sadder ones, the angrier ones… I already knew some to a certain degree, like Bring Him Home because of the Piano Guys, and I Dreamed a Dream because Cait plays it on the piano, and On My Own because a girl sung it at the eisteddfods. Very beautiful songs, great voices. I adored little Cosette’s Castle on a Cloud, because she was adorable,the song was pretty, and creepy, and just plain haunting. And a TV glitch prevented me from actually watching 90% of Javert’s Stars, which I take it was more or less like Nancy’s As Long as He Needs Me in Oliver!, nice, if you care about that character, and boring, if you don’t. And I felt Master of the House a bit too bawdy; funny, but a little sticky with innuendos for me.
For the most part, the Internet prevented me from being completely lost if I missed anything in any of the songs. (Though Cait bailed half wy through to play with the nephew.) The flip side to not being confused due to internet spoilers? I knew every single character who was going to die. And so when I should have been bawling, I wasn’t, because I knew it was coming. I was also sick, and had to pause it thirty billion times because E.B., who is not yet six months, isn’t supposed to watch gun battles and people getting shot. Funny that.
As to content, I’d say mature, because there is a lot of violence in the second half, and, well, put it this way. 90% of you will already know that Fantine becomes a prostitute. The scene was not, um, as strong as it could have been, I’m sure. All you saw was her absolutely miserable face, as she just hoped to keep her “sick” daughter alive through all this.
Attention to costuming detail, amazing, except why didn’t Valjean get pneumonia when he jumped into a freezing cold river in the middle of winter?! Ahem. Except for that.
Like, Fantine got two teeth taken out of the back of her mouth during a street operation involving a large piece of iron and a big, eagerly watching crowd. I have a brother who got his wisdom teeth out. He looked like a chipmunk for weeks. Fantine? Her cheeks swelled a bit! I was so impressed! (That sounds terrible, but it just gives inklings as to how on the ball the costuming/visuals department were.) Except for Cosette’s hat. Historical or not, it was pretty awful.
Overall, I enjoyed it. I’d like to watch it again without gaps to disrupt the flow (Xave likes Les Miz! He just sat on my lap and watched Valjean lamenting about… something. I can’t remember what.) I thought it was a really, really, well done movie. I mean, I’m not a huge, massive musical person, but lately I find people’s singing quite interesting, and so the whole thing was fascinating, also because I haven’t gotten to the French Revolution in history yet. I’d recommend it, apart from the fact it’s like three hours long, and when we thought it was wrapping up, it wasn’t even half way…
And Cosette! She was singing, like, a D or something! It was so high! Like, I haven’t heard anyone sing that high since the last note in The Phantom of the Opera theme song. I said it before. The movie all round impressed me, and musical-person or no, it’s worth a shot.