Thursday, 17 December 2015

Les Miserables (2012)

Dir: Tom Pooper
Starring: Huge Ach'man, Rustle (up some) Crow, Man Hath A Way, EDDIE REDMAYNE

At the age of 6, NB went to see 'Puss in Boots.' He was hooked. The drama! The sounds! The spectacle!

And yet, Narry fails to see the point of musical cinema... excluding West Side Story, Singin' in the Rain and Dancer in the Dark, nothing has captured his imagination. Maybe it's because the musical genre is all about the performance, and therefore it suits the live stage so well, whereas film is essentially a staged, prerecorded dramatization.

Interestingly, Les Mis director Tom Pooper (Damned United, Byker Grove, etc.) decided to film the actors actually singing their parts live, which no doubt presented great challenges to the sound technicians. And the result is quite an 'authentic' performance.

Most of the cast, who are major Holywood stars, can actually sing surprisingly well, altho Rustle up some Crow was kind of flat. Stealing the show as always, tho, was Eddie McRedmayne, who delivers the most powerful moment in the film with Empty Chairs at Empty Tables... ok, so maybe Michael Balls sings its better, but Redmayne's acting talent combines with his strong vocal performance and the best bit of set design and direction in the whole film to create an unforgettable scene.

NB's main problem with Les Mis is not due to the film itself, but due to his issues with filmed musicals, and due to the annoying adaptation and miniaturization of what is an incredible book. Of course, you must leave some material out, but in comparison to Hugo's work, all of the characters come across so flat and unintelligible.

Just watch a few highlights on YouTube, and you'll get the idea.

Rating: Good

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