|Redmayne and the delightful Samantha Barks|
Well I will start by outlining the good bits.
1. I loved the sweeping epic nature of the opening number "Look Down", where hundreds of convicts haul a warship into dry dock during a storm. Impressive and suitably grand.
2. Hugh Jackman throws his entire being into the Jean Valjean role and makes for a wonderfully sexy hero
Crowe is ok in the difficult role of Javert as is the delightful Hathaway in her much lauded role of Fantine but for me ( and this was a surprising fact) Eddie Redmayne stole the show with his angst and slightly odd looking portrayal of Marius, the young student.
3. The ensemble belted out the favourite show stoppers such as ONE DAY MORE and DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING? with suitable gusto and the riot scenes captured the drama of the Paris uprising quite well
4. I did shed a tear at Eponine's wet death scene...another surprise for me
1. I just didnt enjoy the main characters' signature songs as much as I did in the stage production.
Now I know just why that is, for the answer lies in the main difference between a cinematic musical and the stage production...and that is the close up!
In the film every song showed every tiny emotion of the actor as they were singing. Sure that makes for some impressive cinema ( Hathaway's I DREAMED A DREAM and Redmayne's EMPTY CHAIRS AT EMPTY TABLES being standouts) but some pieces just do not lend themselves to this sort of cinematography. They need a big stage to offset a big voice. The intimacy of a closely watched actor reduces the dramatic effect for me, which was a shame
2. Sacha Baron Cohen is absolutely dreadful as the scheming innkeeper Thedarier and
Master In the House, a piece that gives the entire first half of the musical some well needed levity was just thrown away
3. The whole film felt just that little bit hurried...a thing I never really felt during the stage production.
By the time the girl from Mamma Mia started trilling A HEART-FULL OF RAIN, I did feel somewhat bombarded by it all.....and I found myself thinking " for fuck's sake die already!"
That's probably why I felt all a bit hot and headachey towards the end, almost as if I was coming down with something.And so when we finally got home (after all the ladies in the audience had given the entire movie a polite round of applause) I sought out the digital thermometer out of the kitchen cupboard and bunged it under my tongue.
As it turned out my temperature was fine.... I didn't take too much notice of exactly what it was
FOR I SUDDENLY REMEMBERED WHEN I LAST USED THE THERMOMETER
IT WAS MAY 3RD 2012
And in panic over a very sick Mabel the bulldog
I HAD SHOVED THE BLOODY THING UP HER BUM!!!
A QUICK WIPE OF THE THING WITH ONE PIECE OF KITCHEN ROLL
IS NOT GOOD STERILIZING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!