“Do you hear the people sing,/Singing the songs of angry men?/It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again.”
I would like to apologise in advance for the possible (in)coherency of this review. I may well babble.
(And, just to be clear, this is a review of the film of Les Mis, not the stage production.)
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Les Miserables follows the adventures of one Jean Valjean, a convict turned mayor turned fugitive, who rescues a child from slavery.
Oh, and it’s a musical. Literally. Everything is sung.
And from the first thrilling drumbeat of “Look Down” to the last, life-affirming chord of “Do You Hear The People Sing?” (“Tomorrow comes!”), Les Miserables is a joy and a wonder, filled with sadness and hope and just general amazingness. Eddie Redmayne is perfect as “rich young boy” Marius – oh dear, now I can’t stop:
The colour of the world is changing Day by day: Red: the colour of angry men; Black: the dark of ages past; Red: a world about to dawn; Black: the night that ends at last.
Samantha Banks is devastatingly sad as Eponine, and Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean is just stunning. If I had one complaint to make – and it’s only a small one, really – it’s that Russell Crowe as Javert just doesn’t have the voice to pull off “Stars” and…the other song that I can’t name because it counts as a spoiler. For people who know it, it’s the one that begins “Who is this man, what sort of devil is he…” Anyway, that could have been better. But the film as a whole is honestly the best film ever. Yes, better even than The Lord of the Rings. I cried. Many times.
I haven’t really done it justice, but the only way to appreciate it is to go and see it. There are no words.