Friday, January 4, 2013

After Seeing Les Mis a Second Time…

Like I mentioned, my friend L and I went to see Les Mis for her birthday {January birthdays holla!} and here are some more thoughts. {Note: read my first impressions here first-they’re more complete.}


So the biggest change is my attitude about Javert. I think because I was SO disappointed the first time, my expectations were not high at all for the second round, and then I was pleasantly surprised. Not all the time… I didn't think wow, that was a completely different performance and I was so wrong before. Nah. I thought this song isn't as bad as I thought…neither is this one…oh, that one still is bad. The first few songs I really liked him; from “Stars” on I think he flopped. I don’t know if the order of filming had anything to do with it or what, but this is my adjusted opinion.

Thenardiers in the Inn

Several people have commented and said that they liked the movie except for the scene at the inn with the Thenardiers. I agree. That part is realllly raunchy and gross and not attractive at all. And I think that’s the point. They’re not redeemed characters; they’re deceitful and thieving and manipulative and selfish. And gross. Definitely gross. But you’re not supposed to like them.

In the theater performances I've seen, the inn scene is about 1/3 of the movie on the raunchiness scale. It’s portrayed as an awful place for Cosette and as a horrible inn, and it is limited by what can be shown on the theater stage. The movie directors just took it where it couldn't go on a stage, I think. Did they add more sexual things? Yes. Does the theater have those things to an extent? Yes.

The prostitution scene{s} with Fantine were also more graphic in the movie compared to the theater, simply because of what you can do in the movies. But people aren't complaining about that. I think it’s because Fantine prostituting herself a) is not glorified and b) she is rescued out of it. I think people have a problem with the inn scene because the Thenardiers embrace and celebrate their way of life.

Confession: I think the movie does that because the theater does that, and I think the theater puts it in to make just one scene of the performance something to be laughed about; otherwise, it’s a mostly sad or serious theater. Think about it! We go from prison to his redemption, from prostitution and death to a duel and escape, insert laughter at the inn here, then some love songs that are tainted because of Eponine and the upcoming revolution, shooting shooting death, escape, suicide, redemption and then death. If we didn't laugh with and at the Thenardiers, we would be crying THE WHOLE TIME. And in case you didn't hear, it’s a three-hour-long musical.

Am I condoning the perversion in the scene? No. Am I glad the filmmakers put it in? No, I think they could have left out quite a few things and still made the audience feel grimy after watching. So I think they should show us how twisted the Thenardiers’ lifestyle was without subjecting us to everything that they did.

One Last Note

After watching it the first time, my dad pointed out that the man who wrote the lyrics to Les Miserables was an atheist, yet practically every other song he wrote was a prayer to God. And as several writers have pointed out, everyone who went to see this movie also saw the Gospel. Can’t complain about that.
Here is a great post about the movie, God, and the arts. It’s short, I promise!

Final Thoughts

As I finish this post, I’m listening to a recording of Anne Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” and I have to say, if I didn't know this was her singing, I wouldn't think it was her singing because it’s so good. Well done, Anne, well done.

If you want to argue debate discuss this, welcome! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share, and I promise not to bite. I can’t promise not to break into song, though. Consider yourselves warned.
Peace out!

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Bek!
    I really agree with all those thoughts! :)
    Love you!