Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Les Misérables (2012)

Was extraordinary.  I had intended to see it from the moment I saw the trailer for the first time.  The bold strapline 'Fight. Dream. Hope. Love' had caught my attention.  The BAFTA winning screenplay far exceeded any expectations I had had, based on the musical I had seen at Cambridge Circus some time ago. 
What struck me most was that, at its heart, this film beautifully encapsulates what it is to be human.  It comes alive.  There is a wonderful love story, but this is not just about love.  To love is to risk being hurt, and we are not spared any emotion.  We are introduced to the heaviness of shame, which we see emerge from shackles only to be transported through a lifetime. 

Survivors guilt is brilliantly portrayed by Eddie Redmayne whose brothers fall whilst he Marius saved, and we feel the chronic pain of Éponine's unreciprocated feeling.  We experience great richness in the lives of the downtrodden, and can feel the strength of the bonds formed between those who find themselves working, slaving and campaigning side by side.  To describe it as inspiring would be somewhat of a pathetic understatement as the film is capable of so much more besides.  It speaks to anyone who has ever pushed themselves beyond what they previously thought possible.  It acknowledges the struggle, and the battle to overcome our demons.  It heralds the triumph but does not forget the adversity travelled through along the way. 
This is a big movie.  With massive performances.  And huge emotion.    

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