‘Les Miserables’: The Movie and Musical

‘Les Miserables’: The Movie and Musical

Les Miserables
“One Day More” maybe one of the truest and purest lines from the wonderful musical, Les Miserables. I have seen both the musical and movie several times and both have stayed true to the great novel by Victor Hugo. The movie I feel also stayed true to its predecessor, the great musical written by sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. I will say I was a bit skeptical when I first heard they were going to make this iconic Broadway show into a movie, and even more so when I heard who had been cast in the primary roles.

Once I got over the initial shock and watched it, I was very impressed with how they captured the spirit of the musical, but took us on more of a journey through Paris during the French Revolution. In the musical, the sets change but it is lacking that realism the movie gives you. The music was still strong as ever as well as the plot. I think it had to be one of the best movie musical adaptations out there.

Now for the differences, as I mentioned, the locations are a big one. On a stage you can’t do as much, but also on a stage you get to see the full emotion of a person. Every time I would see this musical live, it was always different when you watch the movie you know exactly what you are going to see every time. That element of surprise brings life into a story in a way that a movie just can’t. With that being said, Anne Hathaway, in particular, gave such a compelling performance that you felt like you were actually there. The cast also seemed to mesh extremely well, which also reminded me of the live theater.

Whether its the live stage version or the movie, both versions are an inspiration to people and teach us that we should live everyday like it is our last. The quote “I dreamed a dream” teaches that if you dream enough it could come true. The characters in both the movie and musical had such depth that it could help to inspire people from all professions and walks of life. Moreover, the new musical arrangements really brought the songs to life. The costuming was also a little more detailed than in the musical. I think they took some creative freedom on that front and for once it paid off.

Being a musical theater performer myself, I always find myself being over critical of shows made into movies. However, I can’t find many flaws in this movie. Tom Hooper did an amazing job keeping things in the original content, but at the same time, bringing a new light to an already amazing and heart wrenching story. I would recommend this to non-musical lovers and musical lovers alike. It isn’t just about the music. It is a whole story that truly would touch any generation. Please take the time to watch this wonderful piece of art because that is what it truly is.

Blog By Ashley Knicely

Image courtesy of Rick PayetteFlickr License

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