Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Les Miserables

I admit that I did not enjoy reading Les Miserables in high school. Like most required books, I barely skimmed the pages (but loved the Sparknotes version). I vaguely remember the story of Jean Valjean stealing the bread to feed his family but the rest of the book had faded into my memory.

When I saw that a new movie version was coming out around Christmas, I wasn't sure if I wanted to see it. But when I heard that the film was a success and was up for awards, I decided to give it a shot. I had bought Micah a gift card to the luxury movie theater near our house (it's actually within walking distance) for his birthday and we were looking for a longer movie to see in the soft, cushy seats. The Hobbit, another book that I hardly read in high school, was our other option but considering that I barely survived sitting through the first Lord of the Rings, I opted against further suffering. 

Late Saturday morning (I had to work at 5:30 p.m. so we had to attend the early show), we headed over to the theater. After selecting our seats, we settled into the plush, reclining chairs and Micah ordered some food from the roving waiter. 

Then the movie began...and I was largely mesmerized for two and a half hours. Bits of the story came back to me as I watched but the entire final third of the movie (the part that tells the story of the revolution) seemed new to me. Young Cosette was hauntingly beautiful as a poor, neglected child in a Cinderellaesque surrounding.  

I recognized a couple of the songs ("I Dreamed a Dream" and "On My Own") but the rest were unknown. I've always been a fan of musicals so the near constant singing didn't bother me. 

I'm curious now if after having seen the movie, the book would seem any more interesting to me. Or perhaps it would just be more appealing now that it's not being forced upon me. 

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