Les Misérables

2012

Drama / Musical

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean
Russell Crowe as Javert
Anne Hathaway as Fantine
Amanda Seyfried as Cosette
720p 1080p
1.30 GB
1280*696
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
2hr 38 min
P/S 24 / 152
2.30 GB
1920*1040
English
PG-13
English
23.976 fps
2hr 38 min
P/S 10 / 66

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by tinulthin 9 / 10

Les Misérables

The guiding ethic of any film adaptation of a legendary source must be: "Change as little as possible." Those in charge of Les Miz knew precisely what they were working with. A few songs are shortened, a handful of lines altered, and a few scenarios condensed or adapted to their original literary form, but the whole remains gloriously and satisfyingly intact.

The Work Song is set to the image of a hundred convicts battling a stormy sea to pull a listing ship into dry dock—and only here does the film's live-recording ethic fall short, as the music and voices lack the power to match the imagery, seemingly washed out by the sea noise, where the live musical would normally captivate from the first note.

Neither of them theatrical belters, Jackman and Crowe's performances feel subdued in the opening scene. But the film finds its gravitas the instant Colm Wilkinson appears as the Bishop of Digne, and from that instant, the next two and a half hours are nothing less than the repeated sliding of the viewer's soul up and down a finely-honed blade.

The ability to take close-ups gives the film an intimacy that is unattainable on a Broadway stage, and power numbers are sometimes reduced to a chilling whisper. Anne Hathaway destroys herself to bring Fantine to life, and her incredible, personal pain washes in waves from the screen. The tooth removal, normally excised from the musical, is even back from the book—though modified in location. Confrontation is then viscerally set as a full-on close-quarters sword fight.

Film also allows a depth of scale that challenges the stage. The transition to At the End of the Day is a grim and powerful scramble through the slums of Paris, shaking the screen with the palpable rage of a nation. Look Down is another tour de force, while Do You Hear the People Sing emerges from a quiet, elegiac call to arms that organically overtakes General Lamarque's funeral procession.

Samantha Barks' Eponine lights up in her every interaction with Marius, and shots of her in the background of A Heart Full of Love are soul-rending. But she suffers just enough tiny cuts that A Little Fall of Rain is not quite as arresting as it should be, and the constant close-ups amputate the power of a scene that should captivate not only through its intimacy, but through the inactivity that washes across the entirety of a once-violent stage.

Russel Crowe's soft-voiced Javert takes some getting used to, and while it works more often than one might expect, he sometimes seems to be singing with a sock in his mouth—most notably during One Day More, where he seems to have been mixed in at a different volume level from the rest of the cast. Yet the cinematography of Stars is simple yet stunning, and Javert's Suicide suffers nothing in this interpretation.

M. Thenardier endures a few cuts (most notably the truncation of Dog Eats Dog), but Sacha Baron Cohen steals enough asides and chews enough scenery that his part hardly feels reduced.

The background has been filled in with elements from the novel, and those who have read Hugo's epic will appreciate nods to Fauchelevent and the Petit-Picpus convent, Gavroche's elephant-home, Marius' grandfather, and the tavern behind the barricade. There is even a quick cut to Gavroche when Eponine is shot, winking at their normally undisclosed sibling relationship.

Even the finale remains perfectly and satisfyingly intact. The only challenge with a film that so precisely parallels its stage inspiration is resisting the necessity to deliver a standing ovation once the final note has been sung. If only they had found a way to incorporate a curtain call.

Reviewed by rogerdarlington 5 / 10

Even if you don't like musicals, you really should see this one

As a massive film fan, my tastes are very wide-ranging, but I do have a problem with musicals. Nevertheless I was happy to take the opportunity of a private viewing of "Les Miserables" at the London office of distributors Universal - the day after the London premiere and a month before the UK release - because of the outstanding success of the original stage show (a run of 27 years with a total audience of over 60 million) and the surprising and impressive cast list (Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne).

The showing was introduced by producer Eric Fellner of Working Title who underlined the commercial challenge of making a film in which all the dialogue is sung and the themes are so political and praised director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") for his insistence that every take was sung live.

The two main characters are presented in the opening seconds of a sweeping introductory sequence: the police inspector Javert (Crowe) and the prisoner 24601 Jean Valjean (Jackman) in post-revolutionary France. There follows over two and half hours with barely a spoken word which will not appeal to all cinema-goers, but the production is a triumph with Cameron Mackintosh's musical opened up by dramatic shooting on Pinewood's brand new Richard Attenborough stage and some historic English locations.

If Crowe and especially Jackman are excellent, Hathaway - who lost 25 pounds and most of her hair for the role - is outstanding as the destitute Fantine and Cohen and Carter almost steal the show as the comical Thenardier innkeepers.

I'm not sure how long it will take for "Les Miserables" to recoup its investment cash- wise, but it's going to win award after award and rightly so.

Reviewed by Kaite927 10 / 10

Magnificent Adaptation

This film is amazing. Absolutely incredible. I don't understand what people are saying about pacing issues, I thought it flowed beautifully. The changes made worked very well. And I didn't think there was any weak link in the cast. I honestly loved Russell as Javert. He wasn't traditional by any means, but what he did worked.

The cgi was not the best, but it kind of created this fantastical other world while still being realistic and grounded.

So many of the acting choices were brilliant and subtle. For example Jackman ever so slightly altered his voice with his characters aging, which I thought was brilliant.

There is no negative thing to say about this movie. However, I do see why a critic may not like it. It's not a critic movie. There isn't a lot of impressive violence, crazy camera shots, etc. the things critics seem to love. It's more grounded in the performances and the story, which it tells extremely well.

The only thing I can point out (because I saw it with my boyfriend who knows nothing about the story) there are two or three slightly confusing plots for those who aren't familiar with Les Mis. But they are either explained later on or not important enough to dwell on.

Anyways, that's my rant. Needless to say I will be seeing it many many times and cannot wait for the DVD so I can own it and watch it even more.

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