I’ll admit, before we even begin, I have never seen the musical, or read the book, of Les Miserables. So I’m going to have to judge this with no prior knowledge. But a good film should stand on its own merit. So does it?
Firstly the singing, arguably the most important aspect. On the whole very good, with a few dubious notes from Russell Crowe. From my limited understanding, there is no dialogue in the musical, and the small added parts I felt didn’t flow well, and was unneeded in most instances. Anne Hathaway was heartbreaking as Fantine, and Hugh Jackman was excellent as Valjean. They deserve whatever awards and nominations they get. Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne were also notable as Eponine and Marius.
The plot was easy to follow, despite being almost entirely sung, and all the actors were able to convey the character’s emotions outstandingly through song. My major gripe with the plot (there had to be one) was the Disney-princess-esque romance between Cosette and Marius (they kind of catch each other’s eye in a busy market, and then BAM, ‘You are the very thing that gives my life meaning’ and all that. It took me longer to type this out than that took to happen.) but once again I know they were incredibly pressed for time, and this my also be a fault in the musical, so there isn’t much they could have done.
So on the whole, an enjoyable, if not completely tragic, experience. I would Recommend.
A word of advice, don’t form an attachment to any of the main characters. Probably a goner by the second half.