The popular stage musical takes to the big screen in this lavish adaptation.
Hugh Jackman (Wolverine, Swordfish) is Jean Valjean, a former convict who has become a successful businessman while keeping his true identity a secret.
Russell Crowe (Gladiator, Cinderella Man) is the single-minded policeman, Javert, who tracks Valjean for years in an attempt to see him return to prison.
This is the main theme of the film but along the way Valjean encounters many other characters including Fantine (Anne Hathaway), her daughter Cosette, the wily Innkeepers (Sasha Baron Cohen & Helena Bonham-Carter) and young revolutionary Marius.
The tale of Valjean and Javert is set during the French Revolution but I found this element of the story slightly lacklustre and distracting. I didn’t feel as much for the characters presented during that segment of the film and I was eager for the Crowe / Jackman rivalry to resume.
Although I have never seen the stage show some of the songs were familiar. I Dreamed A Dream (famously sung by Susan Boyle) is beautifully performed by Anne Hathaway and Jackman delivers a powerful version of Bring Him Home. Even Russell Crowe can hold a tune, and what he lacks in singing prowess he more than makes up for in sheer on-screen presence.
This won’t appeal to everyone but it’s a passionate and emotional tale which features some amazing performances. If Anne Hathaway doesn’t pick up the Best Supporting Actress Oscar it’ll be a travesty.
Anyone keen to experience a different type of night at the cinema should check it out.
Ric’s Rating: Highly Recommended.