Les MiserablesI went to see Les Misérables on Broadway in Manhattan when I was in grade 10.  It was my first, and only, real big musical.

I enjoy plays that are live, in front of me, on a stage.  I hate musicals, except Les Mis.  Love the soundtrack.

Mom and Julie are here visiting and both said they were big Les Mis fans too so they were excited to go see it, and Jeff was even more excited that he didn’t have to sit through it.

I had no idea what to except. I purposely didn’t read a single review, but saw a few Twitter mentions from people who loved it and said it stuck with them for hours.

I didn’t know if it was going to be a full musical or if it was going to be a Hollywood movie with the music tied in here and there.

From the very beginning of the movie it was clear. It was a full blown musical…. that was also a Hollywood movie.  Breathtaking scenes, characters, costumes, Hollywood actors… only they were singing every line.

And every line was right out of the soundtrack I loved. It was the Broadway musical, but on a big screen with Hollywood sets.

I loved it. I shed a couple tears. Right eye.  I stretched out in my seat too, to give my bladder room to expand after consuming the movie sized Coke so I didn’t have to leave the room and miss a second.

It was amazing that they seemed to be singing live and that it wasn’t dubbed in later…seemed so raw and emotional. But the singing was also my biggest/only complaint.  I think they chose bigger Hollywood names over better singers.  They were all good, but not great.  Russell Crowe seemed uncomfortable and hesitant at times. I wanted him to belt it out more.  I had the biggest problem with the singing of the actor who played Marius.  It was like he was forcing his voice to singing in a range he couldn’t sing in and I found it awkward and weak. I suppose they chose popular actors/actresses to draw in crowds to pay for the movie.

The entire story is so passionate and emotional. I wonder though if someone didn’t know Les Mis if they would get every aspect to the story lines. I have the book (although unabridged and unfinished), watched the movie, and studying the storyline in school before going to NYC. I love how it is all woven together, in circles almost, pieces of music get tied into the movie over and again, and characters, I love that about Les Mis.

It seemed they altered so little from the original play. Any Les Mis fan surely has the soundtrack burned into their skull and would be distracted if the songs were recreated.  Smart move.

My review?  5/5 revolutionary flag waving for this one.

Luckily I have the soundtrack in my car on my iPhone so we got to listen to it all the way home 🙂