Classic French musical becomes movie

Tanner Gliko, staff writer

For a long time, I have heard about the French musical “Les Miserables,” and I have even played selections from its soundtrack. Now, I have seen the story come to life on the silver screen at Carmike Cinemas. Director
Tom Hooper has produced a fantastic movie adaptation of the novel by Victor Hugo. It features an all-star cast of Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway.

“Les Miserables” tells the story mostly through musical, internal dialogue, of an ex-convict (Jackman) who is under constant pursuit from a French policeman (Crowe) who seeks to arrest him once again, as he has broken his parole. After he goes through a few life-changing experiences and gains some wealth, he decides to give his aid to a poor, single mother (Hathaway). This woman is so poverty stricken that she cannot even afford to keep her own daughter with her; she was forced to entrust her to a selfish innkeeper, to whom she pays a monthly fee for her care.

The musical offers a great depiction of 19th Century Paris, from the slums and ghettos to the French Revolution. Anne Hathaway’s character, Fantine, has her hair cut off for money. The music fits the scene perfectly, and the editing is tight enough that if I didn’t know that the song is layered on top of the film, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.

Personally, I found the story quite powerful. So much so, in fact, that I didn’t mind the fact that only about 5 percent of the dialogue was spoken instead of sung. I would highly recommend this movie for anyone, as it includes little to no material during which a mother would want to cover her small child’s eyes. I would even point those who don’t prefer musicals in the direction of Les Mis, as it is quite different from any other musical. The movie is rated PG-13 and has a runtime of 157 minutes.