Les Miserables sucks

30 12 2012

But I’m gay so I must like musicals, right?

Well, yes, I like a good musical every now and then.  But a good one.  And I’m sure Les Miserables on stage is pretty awesome.  I have no doubt about that.

Les Miserables as a film — well, what can I say about that.  I think I can understand why people– well, fans of the musical– love the movie adaptation.  I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment on the adaptation.  However, as a film, it’s really not very good.  Film is a visual medium; the singing is great (aside from Russell Crowe), but the scenes are so static that it’s just boring to watch.  Sure, Anne Hathaway is tremendous and will likely win a well-deserved Oscar (I was crying during “I Dreamed a Dream”, not just because of the song itself), but her performance isn’t enough to sustain a fairly mediocre-ly, very disappointingly shot and edited film.  There were shots, like near the end when Marius and Jean Valjean are standing in a near-empty room together, and the camera angle is skewed that is simply jarring and seemingly a poor choice in framing (I found myself thinking, “Whyyyyyyyy?”).  I could go on about the lack of wide shots that would’ve made use of the fantastic art direction and costumes and how the story (and my attention span) went down after Hathaway’s departure from the film, but I think this review sums it up for me:  http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/les-miserables/6731

Oh, and I finally found this on youtube.  The best part of the film, by far.

I Dreamed a Dream — Les Miserables

5 12 2012

I’ve seen the trailer for the upcoming Les Miserables film a few times and it looks damn awesome.  Now, as with pretty much everyone on Earth, I’ve heard the music from the film, namely the famous “I Dreamed a Dream”, but I never really “got” it.

And then today, I did.

There was something about finally reading the lyrics that just got to me.  Without going into a complex analysis of the lyrics and what I think it means to me, this idea that life kills otherwise innocent and sweet — albeit naive — dreams… wow.  I can relate to that.  And life being different than the hell I’m living… ugh.  It’s an incredibly sad song by the end, and when people say musicals and showtones are lame because they’re so upbeat and campy — suck on this and tell me you don’t feel anything.

I like this version:

But from the snippet I’ve heard of Anne Hathaway, I really like her version, due to the live-singing aspect of the song.  It’s raw, and it’s not perfect like many of the other trained singers who have sung this song.  I think it really captures the helplessness and sadness of the narrator (I’m not even going to pretend I know the characters or the story of Les Mis, but it’s on my reading list!)

I Dreamed a Dream

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he’ll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.