Saturday, July 17, 2010

In Continuation...

...of the subject of the previous post, because I'm a hopeless Les Mis fangirl and can't get enough of it, no matter what. Nearly everyone I know has informed me about their frustration of the mentioned obsession at least once. I promise to write about something else, later!
But now I feel like writing a couple of words about the 1998 Les Mis film adaptation directed by Bille August.

I found the movie from Aalborg, too. It was the kind of store where there are empty cases on the shelves and then they give you the DVD when you go to pay for it. They gave me the wrong DVD but luckily I remembered to check what I'd gotten before leaving the town... And now, back home with my new movie I found the time to actually watch it. Let's see and try to keep it short (even though a bit spoilerish)!

I found the movie's first half very nice. Liam Neeson was a great Valjean. And of course I paid quite a lot of attention to Javert, and Geoffrey Rush didn't disappoint me - even though they'd given him the most unflattering haircut and a hideous hat for the first half of the film.
I have to admit something to you: I've read the book Les Misérables only once, and even then it was an abridged version. Sometimes I toy with the idea of reading the book again but then I remember the last time when it took me a month and a half (and that's not because I'd be a slow reader, I've read all the Harry Potters in less than a month) and don't feel up to starting again anytime soon. There's just too much stuffing between the plot, at least in my opinion... But maybe I'll read it again once with a bit of cheating during the most boring parts, who knows.
Still, the first half of the film seemed to follow what I remembered about the book very closely. I'm not sure how accurate the cute scenes between Valjean and Fantine (Uma Thurman, great too) were, but I somewhat enjoyed them.

But when the movie got to the part where Cosette is grown up and they live in Paris with Valjean it got a bit odd.
Removing Eponine from the story didn't matter to me, but the biggest "what the he-" moment was when I noticed they'd made Marius the leader of the revolution, in other words, combined him with Enjolras. I can see why, if they'd film the whole book it would fill several DVDs... But this seemed a bit weird since Marius' character was hardly anything like himself anymore. And fancy them removing the garden where Marius and Cosette could be all romantic and replacing it with some shoddy bench on the street!
The revolution, too, felt a bit rushed when thinking they used over an hour with the events in the town Valjean was the mayor of. And Valjean admitting Cosette he loved Fantine? Uh, yeah? Maybe you can interpret it like that, maybe...
But the second half wasn't all bad, neither. My favourite part came right before the end credits, and if you haven't seen/read Les Mis and are still reading this for some reason beyond my understanding I have to warn you of spoilers.

Javert's suicide. Wow. I don't know what it was about that scene, but although I knew how it was going to end I really felt the excitement and my heart was bounding twice the normal speed... Having Javert talk to Valjean before isn't accurate according to the book but it was definitely better choice than having a voiceover, it really built up the suspension. Though, in my point of view, most of the suspense had to do with "oh I'm so certain he's going to shoot himself instead of jumping in the river", not so much with "oh is he going to kill Valjean or not?"
Well, he did jump in the river. I found it a good decision to end the movie with Valjean walking away, relieved, instead of having all that wedding and dying in the end. Gives the story a nice, hopeful ending.

And maybe this is the right place to end this ramble for now, too. Make my day (or my tomorrow, it's bedtime soon), leave a comment!

No comments:

Post a Comment