Monday, 28 January 2013

Vive La France!

This weekend I wanted to go to a 'Remember Tomorrowland Party' with the real and actual Dimitri Vegas! But... I had an Otitis (Ear Infection) last week and my mom wouldn't let me go because she didn't want me to get worse again! So I was really sad and my mom took me to see the new Les Misérables film in the cinema! I had never actually seen the musical and I didn't know a lot about the story so I was going into the film with no expectations. OHMIGOD IT WAS AMAZING!
I'll tell you right now that I cried the entire second half of the film! It was so bad!! If you don't know the story of Les Mis it's about the June Rebellion in France, which really didn't result in any change sadly. It spans about twenty years and follows Jean Valjean a criminal imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. He then goes on to become the mayor of a town when he is released and adopts a poor woman's daughter as she dies. He becomes involves with the Rebellion on the rebels side and finally also dies. The character was portrayed by Hugh Jackman, who I only really know as Wolverine and I was really surprised at how well he sings! The film also stars Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Amanda Seyfried (Cosette), Samantha Barks (Éponine), Eddie Redmayne (Marius), Russel Crowe (Javert), Helena Bohem Carter and Sasha Baron Cohen ('evil' innkeepers, the Thénardiers).
Something that really touched me is that the film is actually really good in portraying how the poor people were living and how unfair life really was for them. The first song in the film was ''Look Down'' is goes ''look down, look down, you'll always see a slave..'' and that's really how things were at the time. Things were so bad that people were forced to do the most horrible things to survive themselves and then also got imprisoned for the most minor things because the ones who were actually better off would report on the others in order not to slip into any misfortune themselves.
Jean Valjean rescuing the dying Fantine and
promising to take care of her daughter.
And It was really well portrayed how quickly that could happen, one day Fantine works in a factory and the next she is homeless and has to sell her body, because she has a daughter. In one of those really sad scenes she sings ''I Dreamed A Dream'' which really showed how she has given up on life and that the only thing she is living for is her little daughter. This was the first time that I really started crying! I mean Anne Hathaway may have her faults but she acted this scene to perfection. She can sing rather well, and she was crying at the same time and it was so so sad to see this scene. Just so beautiful! 
Then the film goes on to show how she dies and Jean Valjean, who is called Monsieur le Maire by now, takes in her daughter, Cosette. Later then the beginnings of the revolution and the directors and producers did an amazing job at portraying the restless mood at the time. Also we got to know Gavroche, he is a street child who is about nine or ten and he is kind of like a mascot for the revolutionists who are kind of like his family. He is really tough and sooo cute!!
Éponine dying in Marius' arms.
Éponine Thenardier
And then you meet the grown up Cosette who, as the daughter of the mayor, is quite rich and beautiful,  the leader of the students, Marius, falls in love with her. The daughter of the Thénardiers, who were 'taking care' of Cosette while her mother was working, is called Éponine and in the beginning it's not quite clear if she's a b*tch or whatever.. I mean she comes from bad parents so you'd expect her to be bad as well. But more and more you start to feel sorry for her instead of cautious because you realise she's in love with Marius and he doesn't even look at her twice! She even helps him find the girl he's in love with, instead of snitching on Jean Valjean's location to Javert (mean police guy), which shows just how much she loves him and it's so heartbreaking because Marius doesn't even say thank you! And then she sings ''On My Own'' which is such a sad, sad song, it made me cry so much! Because it says how much she loves him but ''without me, his world keeps turning, a world of happiness, that I have never known!'' and Sam Barks just does a beautiful job of portraying her locked-up pain!
Cosette and Marius
Èponine goes on to be the only girl within the resistance and of course she's the one to die first.. Taking a bullet for Marius. A little Romeo and Juliette but such a nice scene, I still cry when I think of her final song! ''A Little Fall Of Rain'' (can hardly hurt me now..) And in that scene Marius holds her and tells her hes going to keep her safe and close and he wants to close her wounds with words of love and it me a snotty and blubbering mess. I really admire Èponine, I've read in interviews and stuff that Cosette is supposed to represent Love, and I strongly disagree with that claim: It's 'Ponine who represents the truest and purest love. She loves Marius so much that she doesn't even care about herself anymore. All she wants is for him to be happy! Cosette is a good girl she in my opinion presents the possibility of a positive future, also love but not anywhere NEAR as much as Èponine. ''And rain, will make.. the flowers... grow.''
Then came the scene that made me sob out loud like a little baby! It's when the army comes back with the cannons and Gavroche tries to steal something from the front line. You can see it coming and it's inevitable. With the shots of a pistol an officer shoots the boy in the chest - I'm crying right now - and he dies. I couldn't contain myself after that I was full on crying as if he actually were my little brother, and I don't even have any siblings so I can't imagine the feeling of them dying. It's just so unfair how anything innocent and hopeful and beautiful has to die. It just shows how everything that was good was taken from those people! Èponine and Gavroche are my favourite characters by far! Another thing is that Javert (mean policeman guy) actually takes off his own medal and put it on Gavroche's dead body when they lined up the bodies!
Garvoche, Street Child, Urchin, I love him!!
Javert turns out to be another character that you can only feel sorry for, Jean Valjean saves his life and he can't deal with the fact that life is not black and white so he kills himself.
The last scene is also so nice, it's the entire cast singing a song they were singing at the beginning of the rebellion and it is lead by the dead characters. It's like the encore would be in the live stage musical. The music is:

''Do You Hear The People Sing..''
Singing the songs of angry men.
It's the story of the people who will not be slaves again.
When the beating of your heart,
Echo's the beating of the drums,
There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.

The music is composed in a way that fills up your heart and makes you feel really proud and sad. I know this sounds ridiculous but it's how I felt at the moment. So so beautiful. It's the way a national anthem is supposed to feel when you sing it. 
Over all. I must say this is definitely one of the best films I have seen all year and I hope it wins a bunch of prizes and I know the singing's not the best because they're not really professional singers, but the superb acting balances it way out and it's a beautiful film. And just for the record Amanda Seyfried actually does have a beautiful voice.
I hope to see the real stage musical some time not to far away, and if the school ever decides to do a production of it, I'm in even if it's in the middle of my IB exams.
This turned out to be a massive post and I haven't said everything or expressed how I feel about this amazing piece of art nearly enough, but I have to stop now!
If you haven't already, WATCH THE F*CKING FILM! It didn't let me go all weekend.. And I'm gonna say bye for the week!

The Finale


My Fav Les Mis Songs:

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