Les Miserables is the epic tale of ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, a man who is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert, after Valjean breaks his parole. It's an epic tale of love, passion, sacrifice and redemption that spans many lives over a period of 20 years. There have been quite a few film adaptions of Les Miserables, most notably Raymond Bernard's masterpiece in 1934, which will safely continue to retain that distinction in my eyes. Tom Hooper's adaption of Les Miserables is certainly ballsy in that the film is performed more like an opera with also every single piece of dialogue being expressed through song. I've never been a big fan of musicals that use song to drive dialogue as I think it's much more effective when used to establish mood and character. Hooper seems to have perfected or at least established his aesthetic over his last two films, using a heavy dosage of these fish eye style lenses to decent but varying effect. I think he overuses the style but at times it does work well in the close-ups at showing the emotion of his characters. Les Miserables is certainly a cinematic experience but the film runs overlong, mostly due to the constant singing that begins to wear down the viewer around the 90 minute mark. Early on in the film I was surprisingly enthralled, with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe all giving strong performances in their respective roles. It's hard for me to pinpoint it but the film seems to lose its pacing during the last time period of the film, which could possibly be attributed to Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfriend, who play Marius and Cosette respectively, having almost zero chemistry. Todd Hooper's Les Miserables is a brave adaption in ways, which I certainly can respect, but the film loses much of its steam due to poor pacing and uninspired relationship dynamics towards the end of the film.
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