Yes, I finally watched Les Miserables! On the whole, it was really, really enjoyable. I did have some nitpicks but these did not detract from the movie as a whole. Here are three nitpicks:
1. They shortened the song: “Drink with me.” There were several lines missing.
2. Master of the House is meant to be crude and boorish to depict the crude and boorish innkeepers. They added raunch which was a bit too much. Same goes for Fantine’s suffering.
3. Russell Crowe did not seemed to have put his full “soul” into singing as Javert. What I did like was that several of his solos were sung on the ledge; perhaps this symbolized that despite his full dedication to the law, he himself is not as far as the edge as he liked to think. Nevertheless, his facial expressions and acting did showed the relentlessness of Javert.
Here are ten things that I liked:
1. Hugh Jackman is an excellent Valjean.
2. The most difficult song/scene is the “Confrontation.” It was done well.
3. The choice of actors was excellent.
4. “One day more” when done on stage has a final chorus when all the actors appear on stage in a triangle formation. With the film, the splicing and switching camera angles accomplished this. It was well crafted; well done.
5. Gavroche is a scene stealer. LOL.
6. Despite the script being written by Englishmen and the songs sung in English, the characters slipped in French when appropriate. For example, when Valjean had to see to an emergency and excused himself from Javert, Jackman/Valjean said “Pardonne.” That acted a layer of authenticity. Obviously, Les Miserables is a French story.
7. The length is not a detractor. The story is so rich that I would rather have the producers and directors tell the story as opposed to pander to our society’s declining attention spans.
8. The finale. Like “One Day More,” everyone (mostly dead) comes back and sings the “Do you hear the people sing?” finale. I liked how they bring back the barricade; everyone stands on the barricade and waves flags in a joyful, lively manner. That was extremely moving and well done.
9. The epic opening as everyone sings: “Look down.”
10. The costumes.