I'm not a big fan of musicals. Sure I have some favorite movies that happen to be musicals...but I don't seek musicals in general. Plus I don't like the type of musicals where every word uttered is a song. This is what essentially occurs in Les Misérables. I knew that going into the movie, and I was prepared not to like as I usually don't with this type of musicals.
I was wrong. I actually really enjoyed Les Misérables. I have watched another adaptation of Les Misérables before, the 1998 version...so storywise I am familiar with Les Misérables. Perhaps this aids in my enjoyment of this new adaptation? Maybe it did and maybe because I watched this on DVD with subtitles which enabled me to catch every word they're singing...so in a way I was able to understand and see more of how the meanings of the words play on the characters faces. I have a feeling if I saw this in the theaters I might not have like it as much.
Anyhow... really, this new adaptation is just a great production of the story I think. It's just so lush and rich. It looks gorgeous. And I don't mind some of the very close up shots of the actors...it brought across the emotional aspect of the story better. That is what I most appreciate in this adaptation, which I felt was missing in the 1998 adaptation. This new one makes us present in the revolution that those boys were fighting in and sense the heart and the adrenaline that was in their veins when they marched out. As also with Jean Valjean...I think I understand him more here too...his plight and his initial anger at the injustice of the world.
Performance...performance...of course one would have to mention Anne Hathaway's performance. She was amazing. The song I Dreamed a Dream that she delivered was just heart wrenching. I think the only relationship in the movie which was a disappointment was Marius and Cosette. I'm not sensing much chemistry there...so with this...I much prefer the 1998 adaptation portrayal of the relationship.
Additionally to what I enjoyed... among the bleakness...they still manage to squeeze in some humorous moments with Mr and Mrs Thénardier which I really liked. Cosette...no...Colette? Though sometimes I think that Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen seemed to have just stepped off The Sweeney Todd movie and into this one.
In short..I enjoyed this movie very much...Love the songs too.