Movie Review: Les Miserables

Rating: PG13Length: 157 min
Rating: PG13
Length: 157 min

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever.


I’m not going to lie, this movie was seriously depressing. I came out of the theatre in a slump, wondering why I couldn’t have gone to see something happier.  I realized though that that’s what made the movie so good, because it told the truth. And if the truth is depressing, then so be it.

Les Mis is the only movie I can think of that isn’t dramatized.  It doesn’t  pull any punches; people die and not everyone gets their happy endings. Hope is lost and grudges are held but everything is so achingly real.

The songs fit seamlessly into the movie and looking back I can’t even remember whether certain lines were sung or spoken. I think that this was because the singing is done live, so it is imperfect and is sung by the actors when they are in the mood for the scene.

No one is truly good or evil, but are perfectly human and stay true to who they are right down to the end. The costume designers were brilliant as everything, down to actor’s make-up was perfect.

You’re probably wondering why, if it was so depressing, did I like it so much. The answer is that it was also inspirational.  There is love in the movie, and for the most part it does survive. Jean chooses to be good and never once falters from this decision. He does whatever he can to help those around him, though his situation is not much better.

Everything about this movie was perfect, yet I was unable to fully lose myself in the character’s world and was painfully aware of every passing hour. I think this was because I didn’t want to get sucked into the movie because unlike most movies this world is not one I’d like to live in. What made the movie so good, its authenticity, was also its only flaw.

It is impossible to describe Les Miserables or to explain why it is so important to watch, but it will tear you apart and leave you speechless all at once.


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