Les Miserables- Spectacularly Emotional

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Directed by Tom Hooper, the romantic and violent musical Les Miserables jerks your emotions about like a roller coaster.

Directed by Tom Hooper, the romantic and violent musical Les Miserables jerks your emotions about like a roller coaster. Set in 19th century France, it all begins with Jean Valjean (played by Hugh Jackman, whom you may know as Wolverine from X-Men), the hero, in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. He is released after 19 years and is on parole for the rest of his life because he is a “dangerous man”. After some time, an act of immense kindness makes him rethink everything. He breaks his parole and changes his name. His nemesis, Police Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) is pursuing him.

Nine years later, Valjean becomes the highly respected mayor of a French city. One day, a woman named Fantine (Anne Hathaway) is fired from the factory in the city. She is desperate to find money to care for her young daughter, Cosette, who is in the custody of a disgusting innkeeper and his terrible wife. They tell Fantine that Cosette is sick and that she should send them money to get her a cure. This is so the clever thieves would get what was left of her money. Fantine sells her hair and teeth to get money for Cosette. Fantine then falls ill. Valjean carries her to the hospital when she collapses, and her last request is for him to look after Cosette. To honor Fantine's wishes, he bribes the innkeeper with a ton of money for Cosette's custody. He raises her and she grows up upper class. She eventually falls in love with a rebel, Marius, who is going to risk his life for the benefit of others. Also in love with Marius is the innkeeper's daughter,who tormented Cosette as children, Eponine. All the while, Javert is still searching for Valjean.

The movie and the play are both similar and diverse. One thing I liked about the movie that was not in the play was that it was more emotional. There were some very short, silent scenes in the film. These scenes cannot be understood as well onstage. You also felt the characters’ pain more in the movie since they were screaming or crying and singing up close on the screen, and it made me want to yell or cry. This made it a very moving and powerful film.

I loved all of the amazing singing and the spectacular visual effects of the tragic film. It is crucial that you understand the reason for the war- the people wanted freedom from a terrible king. I would recommend this movie for anyone age 12+ who likes a good love story, is not squeamish, can endure sadness, and isn’t bugged too much by violence.