Sunday, February 10, 2013

Reflections on Les Miserables

Yesterday Hubby and I saw a movie... in a move theater.
That RARELY happens.

I admit, I am the reason we rarely see movies in the theater... it is just so expensive, and there are SO FEW movies that I JUST HAVE to see while they're in the the theater.  Pretty much any and every movie that I'd like to see, I'm perfectly happy to wait a few months and rent it for $1.15 from redbox.

My hubby has a harder time waiting for the movies on dvd, but he is such a sport and our compromise is that he goes to several movies with his family when we visit St. Louis.  So he'll see 3 movies in the theater in 2 weeks... and then no movies in the theater for the next 6-11 months.  :-D

Well, yesterday we went to see Les Miserables in the theater because I wanted to see the movie on the big screen, to experience the music on the big screen and with theater surround sound.

I LOVE musicals and I grew up seeing, singing, learning and re-watching many many musicals.  That being said, I had never seen the production or the movie of Les Miserables.  I knew much of the music and I knew the tale was about the French Revolution, but I had never learned the whole story... Now I know why.


Here are my reflections on Les Miserables:

Les Miserables is not a happy story.
That being said, Les Miserables is a story of redemption, and Godly redemption.  I had no idea I was going to see the beautiful story of God's love and redemptive nature in so many characters throughout the movie.
That being said, Les Miserables is not a family story.  So many of the musicals I've seen, and especially those I grew up with, are very appropriate for families -- Showboat, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, Annie, Oliver Twist, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats... and many, many more.  Les Miserables is not appropriate for families.
The music of Les Miserables is beautiful and breathtaking... but as for needing to see a 
musical with "theater surround sound"... I can pass next time.  For as LOUD as the theaters play action movies, Les Miserables, the musical could and should have been played MUCH LOUDER.  A musical is meant to be felt as much as it is seen and heard.  The music, the orchestral score is meant to penetrate your bones... but that doesn't happen in the theater.
Despite being a modern reproduction of this legendary musical, Les Miserables is a very traditional musical.  This is my music major nature coming up, so just bear with me for a minute... traditionally the female leads, the protagonists, the female love interests of a musical/opera/anything sings soprano while secondary females, the antagonists sing alto.  This was the case in Les Miserables.  Traditionally, the male leads, the protagonists, the male love interests sings tenor while the secondary males, the antagonists sing baritone or bass.  This also was the case in Les Miserables.  For some reason, it surprised me to see this very traditional musical standard followed in such a modern reproduction.
To be honest, there were parts of Les Miserables that were hard to watch, and I don't think I'll be watching it again any time soon; however, I am glad I saw it.  I am also glad I didn't bring one of my (nonexistent) children to see it.  I think eventually I would like to see the Broadway production of Les Miserables... once... eventually... when we get a really good deal on tickets... and we will not bring our children.

What did you think of Les Miserables?

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