Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book > stage > movie

Yesterday, I finally saw the movie version of the musical based on Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables. All I can say was that it was, ummm, good but a bit underwelming. (Now I have to hide from my friends who really, really love the movie. I fear for my safety.)

What I can remember from the movie are the extremely tight shots of the actors while they're singing. You can really see the snot from their noises while they're crying and singing at the same time. And yes, Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) has no pores whatsoever, and Eddie Redmayne (Marius) has 1,697 freckles.

Somehow, seeing the movie recently made me want to listen again to a recording of the musical. Finally, songs from people who can actually sing! 

And the movie did inspire me to look for my copy of Les Misérables, which I've read almost 20 years ago. I did find it, and I was aghast about its condition. Yellowing pages, foxing everywhere, silverfish feasting on its paper. It was almost crumbling when I handled it.

Anyway, I do remember enjoying this novel when I read it during one summer when I was still in college. It's very melodramatic though. And it's très depressing. Apparently, French people living during that time had no joie de vivre. You can't blame them though. You can smell the stink and taste the poverty and misfortune of these unfortunate characters.


Rise said...

I agree about the second-rate singing aspect. On that account, it was a sometimes hair-raising experience.

Peter S. said...


Louize Gonzales said...

There really was a freckle count? hahahaha

"underwhelming" - that's the word I am looking for; but I do have to commend Eddie Redmayne’s 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables'. ;)

Peter S. said...

It's not necessarily underwhelming. I guess it was just different from the way I was expecting it. :-)

Tina said...

I was just halfway through the book and I haven't watched the musical (or listened to the soundtrack either) so I went to the movie with little expectations. I liked it, although I kind of found it funny that I spend so much time reading through a hundred or so pages in the book when it barely occupies 5 minutes in the movie. Heh. But I'm really liking the book so far, so I'm sure I will end up liking it more than the movie. But then I always like books more than the movie adaptations. :)

Peter S. said...

Hi, Tina! Yes, there's much "palabok" in the book, but I found those bits enjoyable as well! Glad you're liking this book so far!

Anonymous said...

Ah... It was probably because the songs were sung LIVE during filming. We were guessing that in those extreme close ups, the microphones were probably too close to the actors/actresses' faces so as to best capture their voices. :D

-Adie ;)