My sisters and I just watched Les Misérables: 25th Anniversary Concert!! And now at last, I see what all the fuss is about! Well, almost...
Now don't be mad at us if you are a 10th Anniversary Concert fan. The 25th Anniversary Concert was the one our hands lay hold of first after hearing all the Les Misérables rantings and the excessive praise from the wonderful blogging world. We won't mention any names or *cough* blog parties, but this had a lot to do with it. :)
Les Misérables is the story of a man who can't escape from his past, a young couple who fear they may never be together, and a revolution that seems destined for failure. There's also the plight of a mother caring for her little daughter, as well as as an innkeeper seeking riches and a persistent policeman bent on what he sees as justice.
So, my thoughts? Here they are (and I start with the cons just so I can end everything on a good note... no pun intended... ).
- The immoral behavior and adult themes. Get ready, because this was really big. I realize they made the plot, but it made the whole thing very dark. I would not recommend showing the concert to children. The immoral behavior was not shown as being extremely bad, instead the audience was encouraged to feel pity on those who had done wrong (indicating Fantine here). Characters who perished during the course of the concert called upon the Lord God with their last breaths, but they spoke of the Savior as more of a benevolent father rather than their eternal judge. God can, and does, forgive sinners, but I felt the confessions sung were focused more on themselves and their sin than on the mercy of Christ. Yes, I acknowledge that our world is full of sin and immorality, but, as Christians, why must we dwell on it and repeatedly allow ourselves to take part in viewing it? So, again, the immorality and adult themes were a huge drawback. Considering all that was included in the concert, I could not recommend Les Misérables to anyone in good faith. "Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication... who knowing the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Romans 1: 29-32)
- The profanity. We watched the concert on my laptop which, I regret, does not have a parent guardian. Every time foul language crossed the screen, my sisters and I cringed and covered our ears. Not a very pleasant thing to do when we wanted to enjoy the concert. And there were very many cuss and curse words and inappropriate terms included in the songs. Very objectionable. "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." (Ephesians 4:29)
- Some costumes. A few of the ladies could have worn higher necklines. Ugh. "That women adorn themselves in modest apparel." (1 Timothy 2:9)
- The ridiculous love triangle. I'm not a huge fan of romance anyway, but the whole Éponine loves Marius who loves Cosette who loves Marius and Éponine is left alone to die thing got to be a bit much. Sure, it's a musical and they have to drum the drama up and all, but I'd rather not see it all. And the kissing? I highly disapprove. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." (1 Corinthians 7:1)
- The progression of the plot. It was hard to follow due to being so twisted and everything sung instead of spoken. Nothing against singing, of course, but it was difficult to understand everything that was going on. While watching it, my sisters and I had to keep checking the plot line on Wikipedia so we could get what had just happened.
- The number of deaths. Yes, it was during a war with battles and all that, but seriously! How many people can you kill off in one concert? We counted over five main characters, not including all the men at the barricade. In addition, there was Javert's suicide. Not commendable, and quite disgusting. And no, my sisters and I did NOT tear up at any death scenes. We're not that emotional.
- The "expressionlessness" of Marius (Nick Jonas). And you would think a character like Marius would be bursting with emotions like... well, like Marianne Dashwood! But that's my opinion...
- The Thénardiers. The innkeeper and his wife were definitely not people you would root for. *shivers* Reminded me of Rigaud from Little Dorrit. But I guess this was a good dislike... if that's possible.
- The MUSIC!! How can I express my delight? The music was phenomenal!! It really made the concert!!! My favorite songs included "I Dreamed A Dream," "Bring Him Home," "Do You Hear the People Sing?," "One Day More," "Red and Black," etc. etc. Chills running up and down my arms!!!
- The incredible cast. I admit that there could be some better characters in the 10th, but many of the 25th were outstanding!
- The incredible voices. I think Norm Lewis's (Javert) and Ramin Karimloo's (Enjolras) were my favorite voices. Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean was excellent, too, but I've heard almost everyone prefers Colm Wilkinson. As I have not yet seen him in concert, I will wait to pronounce my favorite Jean Valjean. There was a time (yes, I'm playing the music in my head) when I thought Lea Salonga's voice was too heavy for "I Dreamed A Dream," but she managed it very well, and I retracted the thought.
- Gavroche. I just had to include him. Although left on the street alone, he did quite well fending for himself and helping Enjolras, Marius, and the students out as best he could. I was almost sorry when he died.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Did I enjoy Les Misérables? To a point. Music... good. Just about everything else... not good.
Would I watch Les Misérables again? Probably not. The dislikes way outweigh the likes.
Would I recommend it to my friends? Again, no.
Please comment! I'd love to hear your thoughts on Les Misérables!
Please note: This review is not intended to bring offense to anyone. It is only my personal opinion and beliefs.