Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


Les Miserables in a new light

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Reviews of Director Tom Hooper’s big screen adaptation of Victor Hugo’s book, Les Misérables are almost as entertaining as the film. The reviews exhibit barbed, bazaar, candid opinions that human beings are vulnerable to express.

Last weekend, my husband and I ventured out for our quadrennial date and actually got in a vehicle and drove to the Walton Theater to watch Les Misérables.

For a little background, I read Les Misérables decades ago. Loved it. But clearly, I didn’t remember every detail therefore whenever I’m drawn back to the ideas in Les Misérables, through other movies or renditions, I learn something new about broken dreams, religious values, unrequited love, sacrifice, and redemption. The many versions of the book add to the scope of Victor Hugo’s donation to the advancement of humanity.

I haven’t found a reviewer yet who echoes my impression of the 2012 musical rendition of Les Misérables.  I don’t lean toward the passionate exclamation, “Nothing short of breathtaking, triumphant and beautiful!” I also don’t lean toward the review quipped by Alistair Harkness who commented, and I’m abridging here, “Bombastic, overblown, overlong, needlessly convoluted…” His remark seems backward. The French to English language version of the book, Les Misérables, contains 530,982 words. The 2012 film, scripted by William Nicholson, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil, and Claude-Michel Schönberg, managed to effectively garner at least 250 pages into a 3 minute song. Bravo.

The 2012 Les Misérables impressed me with the fact that time/space and the human language are surmounted with the use of lyrics, music, acting, and visuals. All these layers together produced a grand effect that are provoking the human mind to grow out of its own codes, expectations, assumptions, and flawed views.



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