Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Geek Media: the les miserables movie

Do you hear the people sing?

It is the music of a people who are awaiting with baited breath - myself among them - for Les Miserables, Sir Cameron Mackintosh's incredible musical based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo to finally come to theatres after breaking records and breaking hearts on the stage for the last 25 years.

It's to debut around Christmas of this year, thereby making it Oscar eligible and with a star-studded cast led by Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert and Anne Hathaway as Fantine, it is expected to be one of the top contenders.

I love this musical. I saw it live 5 years ago and would love to see it again. The music is beautiful, with an impact that stays in your mind long after the last note fades from the speakers you heard it on - whether it be in the theatre or at home. It is an impact that Susan Boyle was able to get the whole world to realize when she sang one of its iconic songs  on Britain's Got Talent. 

But the trailer has me asking a few questions.

You'll notice in the trailer that Fantine is singing her (and Susan Boyle's) iconic song "I Dreamed a Dream" in what looks like an alleyway. Her hair is short and she is disheveled, indicating that she has already fallen into prostitution at the point she sings the song.

But in the musical, she actually sings "I Dreamed a Dream" right after she is fired from her factory job at the end of "At the End of the Day." At that point, she still had all her pride and joy, her long, beautiful hair. She still had her decent clothing and her pride, so to speak. It wasn't until the song after she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" did she have her hair cut and she resorted to prostitution to survive, during the song "Lovely Ladies".

Now, given the importance of "Lovely Ladies" to driving the story (and based on scenes in the trailer) it probably wasn't removed.

So then, what's the deal? Did Mackintosh and the director decide to move "I Dreamed a Dream" until after her "fall from grace" (which was somewhere in the middle of "Lovely Ladies") Did they re-enact the song as a reprise? 

That has me a bit worried.

And yet still, I have faith.

As a side note to Fantine's fall from grace, they did leave out the fact that Fantine also lost her two front teeth. It wasn't mentioned at all in the original musical (though they did depict it on the stage) but in the book, that was another thing she sold for francs before becoming a prostitute. 

And you thought the hair cutting was drastic.

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