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Les Miserables Movie Review


Les Miserables


5 of 5 stars Mercy Personified September 29, 2001 

This movie serves its purpose well. You will completely fall in love with the story and want to read the book and see other movie adaptations. The story is so alive and fulfilling, it will not only capture your heart...it will in fact change the way you think.

Is revenge sweet? Or, is forgiveness sweeter? What joy is there in the death of an enemy? Is there not more beauty in freeing the soul and making your enemy your friend? In all cases this is not possible, but our actions can speak to the heart.

In Les Miserables, Jean Valjean (Liam Neeson) gives of himself continually throughout the movie. He is the example of how a life can be changed through kindness. We find him on parole after 20 years of hard labor for stealing bread. Still unchanged by his punishment, he seeks to steal again from those who sought to be kind to him. While the owners of the house sleep, he steals their silverware. The next day he is caught and returned. What happens next will not only surprise you, but will set the mood for the entire movie.

This is a story about two men who are given a second chance. Each takes a path and they then meet at the end again. One soul awakens to the chance to start again, the other, prison guard (Geoffrey Rush), is filled with hate and can think of nothing but revenge.

Not only is this about forgiveness but it is also about a father's love for his daughter and what he will give up, even though his daughter is adopted. He treats her as if she is his own child. His daughter falls in love with a handsome "dangerous radical." ;> Who doesn't seem that dangerous. I really wish the story had been longer and they had put more into the character development of both Cosette (Claire Danes who really brightened up the screen), Marius (who needed a lot more character development) and Fantine (Thurman who spent most of her time looking quite ill).

My favorite line: "I didn't breath while you talked, I was afraid I'd miss a word." -Cosette

The filming on location in Paris is a dream. If you have ever been to Paris, you will enjoy seeing places you might have visited. The city is the most romantic place on earth. There is a feeling you get when you are there that cannot be described.

This movie may not be exactly as the story is written, but what movie have you ever seen that captured the complete story? If it makes you fall in love with the characters, then it has succeeded in making you hungry for more. Is that not the point? To get you to read the book? I sure found that to be true.

A movie you will want to add to your top 100 collection! I would have loved if this movie had been much more complex. I could have watched this story for 4 or 5 hours! Basil Poledouris' score adds quite an appeal to this story and evokes the right emotions as a great soundtrack should. I also just became a fan of Liam Neeson. His character is almost mercy personified.

Truly an inspiration and will change your life. One of the most beautiful movies you will ever see.



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