What to know walking into Les Miserables

Leah Moose, Lifestyles Editor

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After viewing the movie musical Les Miserables only a few hours ago, I realized there are several details that potential viewers should know before going into the theater.

First, Les Miserables, is not like other movie musicals that seem like a nearly-perfect hybrid of singing and acting. In fact, this film’s dialogue and story was roughly 95% accomplished through singing and musical numbers. There were actually 49 songs featured in the movie musical. I will admit, at first it felt a little off-putting to be discovering the story’s plot through constant song. But viewers will eventually get the hang of it, so to speak. Once I did, I realized it was such a fantastically raw way to show the character’s emotions.

Despite the gut-wrenching moments of sadness, there is plenty of comic relief supplied within the movie. One particular duo lit up the screen as the swindling, sticky-fingered couple, Thernardier (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Madame Thernardier (Helena Bonham Carter), which held Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) in custody while she was a child. Both actors have made their appearance known in big-name films-you may know this Thernardier as Borat or Bruno and Madame Thernardier as Bellatrix Lestrange or the Red Queen.

Lastly, the actors in the movie are first and foremost just that-actors. The cast actually performed the songs during filming, according to Sandy Schaefer for Screen Rant. Some critical viewers have claimed Broadway performers, trained musicians and actors, do the music from Les Miserables more justice. Namely, music artist Adam Lambert when he discredited the actors by calling them, “pretend singers.”

This movie musical has had no problem accomplishing many captivated fans-evidence shown to me by the long line of girls singing “I Dreamed a Dream” in tears and laughter while waiting to use the movie theater restroom. Storyteller, drama junkie, show-tune hummer alike will take to Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables. 

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