CRUZ, Winnie Crystal P.
BSE – II
Les Miserables (2012), A Movie Review
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh and Working Title Films.
Cast: Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert) , Anne Hathaway (Fantine) , Amanda Seyfried (Cossette), Eddie Redmayne(Marius Pontmercy),Helena Bonham Carter(Mrs. Thénardiers), Sacha Baron Cohen(Mon. Thénardiers), and Samantha Barks(Eponine.)
From the book: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Publisher of the book: Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie.
Movie production: Filmed in London and Hampshire, England and Gourdon, England.
It is said that Les Miserables was written two decades after the French Revolution had started. Basically, the French Revolution was all about fighting for equality because their order in society wasn’t at all fair. Thus, all social classes were put into war, and at the same time, there had been economic hardships and struggles. Often times there were food shortage even, sometimes not enough for the entire population of France. The French Revolution was a bloody fight indeed, just like what in Les Miserables had depicted for us. It was pretty much a war between the lower classmen and their unruly government.
There are quite a lot of characters in the story, but let’s dwell on the important ones. Jean Val Jean, the protagonist of the story. He is first seen as an ex-convict who wanted to change for the betterment of himself by concealing his real identity and starting anew. There is also the bishop, named Myriel who helped Valjean change his ways. Next, we have Javert, the policeman who follows the law strictly. A woman named Fantine, with her child Cosette. The Thernadiers and their offsprings, Eponine and Garvorche. We also have, the members from the ABC, namely Marius Pontmercy and Enjolras.
Political, social, and economic conditions have often led to revolutions that have changed the course of history for nations and peoples. These revolutions had such a significant impact that they can fittingly be labeled turning points. Two of these turning points, the Neolithic and French Revolutions, have drastically altered the world today. During the Paleolithic Period, which lasted from the ...
Knowing for a fact that this is somehow a musical, it is actually hard for me to choose the best lines for them but anyhow, I was able to choose.
“You will learn, truth is given by God to us all in our time, in our turn.” – Jean Val Jean to Cosette
“And remember this, my brother, See in this some high plan. You must use this precious silver to become an honest man.” – Bishop Myriel to Jean Valjean.
“So never kick a dog because he’s just a pup. We’ll fight like twenty armies and we won’t give up.” –Gavorche to Javert
Now, if someone had to ask me who my friend character in the story, I would answer either Javert or Enjorlas. Although Jean Val Jean may be everyone’s best character, I would choose the other two stated for the reason that their characters are much more complex than that of the usual canons. Javert, being the man who sees things black and white. The man who is overly obsessed by the law and ultimately follows it like it was his will to do so. Aside from the way he sings, which I think is very nice to listen to, I like the way his past is subtly put up, thought most of us might not really notice him much and think of him in the bad light, I see Javert as just another person stuck with the society’s norms and traditions. He only wants what’s best, except that he didn’t exactly know that what he thinks is good is really for the betterment of the society. Javert is born from a prison, so he knows how people like him roll around and he thinks that people like him doesn’t change. His past shapes how he handles everything. On the other hand, we also have Enjolras, the real fighter. He is the leader of the barricade and showed how dedicated he was for his people. He fought for freedom and equality, and until the last battle, it almost teared me up when he raised the red flag before they shot him. He’s a great character, the perfect man for a war.
"Dystopias serve as warnings to contemporary man"(Erickson) Dystopias portray possible consequences for flaws in society, portrayed through dark futuristic setting. Dystopias can be a warning to prompt society of a danger that corrupt societal systems could possibly lead to. The movie Children of Men envisions a world that has fallen into chaos. Women have lost the their ability to reproduce and ...
Les Miserables follows the story of a prisoner, 24601 or otherwise known as Jean Valjean who is imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. After his release, he was then filed as on parole, which means that he is still on probation by a policeman, Javert. With him being an ex-convict, no one would want to help poor Valjean, so he desperately sought for help with the town’s bishop. The bishop, Myriel welcomed him openheartedly and gave him a place to stay, but Valjean repaid the bishop by stealing his silver and flees. After getting caught again and brought back to Myriel’s place, the bishop did not reprimand him but instead acted as if he gave the silver to him as a gift and even gave two candleholders to Valjean. This is where Valjean had finally awoken from his sinful deeds and decides to change his life fully. There, he promised to himself that he will be an honest man, and therefore he masks his identity and enters the town after eight years with a new name and the title as the town’s mayor.
Fantine, a working class woman worked in Valjean’s factory, concealing that she has a child—an illegitimate child in fact, that would take her out from her work if anyone knew. Her child, Cosette resides in the house of a couple, the Thernadiers whom Fantine handed for shelter and in return, she would bring a monthly allowance for her child. A letter was sent to her stating that her daughter had fallen ill, which her fellow workers were too intrigued to know what had written on the letter. They find out about her child, and so the foreman fires her. She had nothing else to bring about but to turn to prostitution, just so she could give money to save her Cosette.
Valjean saved Fantine from getting arrested, and took her to the hospital instead because she was so weak that time and longed to see her child, Cosette. Valjean heard that there is an innocent man believed to be Jean Valjean arrested. Knowing the consequences that might happen, Valjean enters the court and reveals his identity as the real Jean Valjean.
Before Fantine’s deathbed, Jean Valjean promises to her that he will take care of her child in her stead. She dies and Javert enters to arrest Valjean, but he managed to escape. He then arrives at the inn where Cosette was staying with the Thernadier and takes her away from the foul place by giving them money. Jean Valjean becomes Cosette’s foster parent.
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After nine years, a revolution was racing near. The students from the Friends of the ABC, or otherwise known as the Revolutionary Student Club fought for equality. With their leader, Enjolras, he makes a team with Marius Pontmercy, a grandchild of a rich politician. Upon the starting of the revolution, he sees Cosette and falls in love instantly. Meanwhile, Eponine, the daughter of the Thernardiers, falls in love with Marius as well.
The rest of the plot goes on to the battle itself, with new comrades and the occasional snakes on the ground. This movie is about broken dreams, unrequited love, sacrifices and masked identities, set against backdrop of early 19th century France.
It is quite obvious that the movie addressed the number one problem the French had in their time, the unbalance social division and iniquity in general. I find it quite appalling to see how the lowerclassmen almost looked like dirty dogs on the streets, begging for alms and something to eat (but also not to mention their cool clothing, but let’s thank that to the costume designers.) While the rich did not even budge to even help their fellowmen and continued to eat lavishly as if there weren’t any hungry men knocking on their doors. They spread caviar to their bread while the poor only ate stale bread. It was definitely not a good sight to see, and yet I feel like it still exists today—which is another thing I find very sad.
Yes, it is memorable especially now that history seems to repeat itself. I see that this is how we are today, except with less fashionable clothing and such.
I think the playwright is trying to tell the viewers that indeed, there is really a social struggle existing in this world and changing its ways isn’t merely just about signing a contract done within a day. For me, I think the playwright is correct with that stance. Even today, there still exists a social structure where we can see how the lower class men are still under the ones with the higher positions. Probably the best book reference I can think of right now is Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. These books really show how the poor struggled and simply followed along because of their fear from those who are much higher than them.
The story “A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND” and “LOVE IN L.A “are set in different time periods but have a common ground both stories mention a setting of being in the summer at one point of time also both stories have a similar setting which took place on a highway. There are many differences in both stories which includes the tone and language, the attitudes of the characters. In the story “A GOOD ...
Aside from those stated from above, I think there are more social issues to be analyzed. Fantine’s life could be an example of a social issue, wherein women are easily belittled and cast down upon, especially when they knew about her illegitimate child. We also have the scene nine years later where they had a new king, and there were carriages trying to pass the sea of hungry men and they just looked at them as if they were nothing.
Overall, I think this is a good movie that everyone should watch. To be quite honest, I’ve watched this for around three times and I can confidently say that this isn’t the type of movie that would rip you off. With beautiful voices carrying you away from trying to actually understand what they’re saying (because there aren’t no subtitles) and each scene depicting how the French were—not to mention how elaborate their costumes, make up and stage designs were. It’s as if you’re really watching something that came out from the 1800s. The actors were all so exceptionally good in acting out their characters, not one was left out and I believe they’ve really done a job well done! I don’t see any room for improvement anywhere, maybe just the part where they might as well give of hints of the other characters past (and not just Jean Val Jean.) But anyhow, It’s perfect!
I believe this is the kind of movie every movie-junkie should look after for! For music lovers and History geeks! For those who are friendzoned (like Eponine) and hopelessly in love (like Marius and Cosette.) This is the movie for you!
STARS: * * * * *