It's one of my favorite books, but I decided I was over musicals a while back, and then the previews came out, and then Anne Hathaway who is my motherfucking homegirl, and I haven't seen it on stage since high school, so hey, why not?
The problems I had with the film were the problems I had with both book and musical, so it's not really the film's fault. I've always thought Marius was a penis, and Cosette was useless, and Valjean needed to get over himself somewhat, which is predictable. It's always the tertiary characters that get me, the Enjolras-Grantaire-Gavroches, that come out of nowhere and hammer my heart into bits, so I was watching for them instead of the leads.
Plus Javert. Javert is all my sort of thing, as is Russell Crowe, and I truly thought hey, so what if it's not his range at all and he can't sing even IN his range, it's not like he has a wonderful song I learned how to play the piano just so I could play OH WAIT SHIT.
Javert's whole thing is that he HAS to be different from the scum he grew up around. He HAS to be inherently better than them. It can't be that they're fellow humans who made different choices, because that puts them a lot closer to him than he can really handle. He was born in a jail, and they're too close already. He has to be constantly on his guard. It's why he chases so hard. He's terrified. I've seen performances where the desperation is palpable, the need coming off him like waves, and I think I was looking for that, that sense he was about to crack at any second.
You got some of that from Russell Crowe, but not enough, though he does tightly wound pretty well.
I loved lots of little things about it without loving it entirely, does that make sense? The appearance of the preist at the end, that made me cry, and I could give a fuck about Valjean or his Heroic Mysterious Death normally. One of the revolutionaries putting his arm around the guards, because that's how you win.
The scale of the barricade, and how totally about to die they all are even before they realize the people aren't coming. How even their friends closed the windows and doors at the end. How alone they were.
And how madly fucking in love with Marius Enjolras was, because Enjolras is the only one, the only one in the whole goddamn revolution, who isn't doing it for kicks or self-aggrandizement or because it'll get him some tail or to piss off his rich family or because all his friends are doing it. He's the only one for whom it isn't personal, and in a story in which all revolutions are personal, that's a necessary counterweight. But Marius is his weakness. Marius is the one who frustrates him, because Marius should be like him and isn't in the end. His smile when Marius comes back to join them is incandescent. It's Marius's major redeeming quality, that Enjolras likes him so damn much.
Speaking of incandescent, Anne Goddamn Hathaway. Talk about a performance completely without vanity, just completely fucking out there, just raw and fierce and flawless.
What did you all think?