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Oh, the wretched sadness!

Oh, the wretched sadness!
It’s true the lives of Les Miserables cannot be told to the tune of Singin’ in the rain. But be warned, all that operatic singing could almost drown you in sorrow, superb cinematography and performances not withstanding. Hold on though, soon the street urchin, Gavroche, will make an appearance. Daniel Huttlestone who plays him heralds the June rebellion of France into Les Miserables. From that point on, when Huttlestone walks onto the screen, rapping in crisp Brit accent, the film swings to a different tune. When the curtain finally comes down, you’ll be glad that you stayed through Hugh Jackman’s attempts to sing.

Anne Hathway is sure to walk away with an Oscar for her performance. Her Fantine drips sadness from every pore of her body, it is but impossible not to cry when she lets go in ‘I dreamed a dream’. Helena Bonham Carter and Sascha Baron as the greedy inn-keepers are a riot. Russell Crowe gets as righteous as possible, and seems to have dug himself deep into the character of upright law keeper, Jarvet, who kills himself rather than face a version different from his right and wrong. Despite getting out of key at times, Jackman, too, manages to convey the inner torment of Jean Valjean, of wanting to do the right thing and wanting to survive in an unkind world.

Between director Tom Hooper and the scriptwriters, they have managed to stay true to the book For instance, like in the book, the musical gets a lot of mileage out of the love triangle between Cossette (Amanda Seyfried), Fantine’s daughter who is entrusted to the care of Valjean, Marius Pontmercy (Eddie Redmayne), a rich kid giving up his family for revolution and Eponine (Samantha Barks), the inn-keepers’ daughter. But romance and such are pushed to sidelines when France gets up in arms, demanding a better world for les miserables. And understandably enough, the film ends with an arousing ‘Do You Hear the People Sing?’ and not, thankfully, some inane love duet.
Jemima Raman

Jemima Raman

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