I will preface this blog by saying that I have never seen a musical in my life. Ever. Be it in the theatre, as a play, or at home, I have never seen a true musical. Sure, I’ve seen movies that have had musical numbers in them, but not a full movie. After finally seeing a musical in the form of Les Miserables last weekend, I can honestly say that it is not something I feel I will regularly enjoy.
I am not going to go into a big rant about how bad this movie is. I don’t consider it a bad movie at all. I think it is a movie that was filmed exceptionally well that faltered due to a pair of casting choices. I do not think that Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried were good choices for their roles, and especially in the choice of Russell Crowe, took me completely out of the film right at start.
On the flip side of that are the performances from Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks. All three were wonderful in their roles, and both Jackman and Hathaway deserve all the awards talk that they are getting for their roles in Les Miserables.
With his vast experience on Broadway as a valuable asset, Jackman has proven in this film that he is in fact one of the best actors in Hollywood today, and Hathaway, with her past roles in movies in which she has sung as well proves that she is in fact one of the best young actresses in Hollywood today as well. As for Barks, who has played the role Eponine in both the 25th Anniversary and a year in a London stage production as well, was the most experienced person for the role that they played, and it definitely showed on screen.
Visually the film was wonderful. From the shipyards at the very beginning all the way up to the barricade near the end, early 19th Century France was rendered beautifully.
As for the length of the film, whether due to the fact that the second main character in the movie was miscast or not being able to be caught up in the story, I felt the movie ran a little long, and this is coming from someone that has found three and a half hour movies to not be long, so that is a detriment to the movie in my eye.
In the end, I can see why the play itself is so beloved, but with no prior knowledge to base things off of, and a main character that I felt was horribly miscast, I just could not get into Les Miserables. For the end of the year, I think only two movies have been more underwhelming to me, and that is truly saying something.
For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer. Cheers.