Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Les Miserables

I read the unedited version of the book Les Miserables a couple of months ago. It's undoubtedly one of the best books I've ever read, the writing was phenomenal, and the character's were flawless. Well, not literally flawless, but the writing of them was. When I was little I saw the movie version of Les Miserables starring Leam Neeson. I remember liking the film, but looking back on the few moments that I actually remember, I realize that it really wasn't that great. Mama always said that it wasn't, she's always liked the older movie version starring Robert Jordan (I think that's his name) as Jean Valjean, and Anthony Perkins as Javert. I watched that film just a few days ago, and thought that it was a respectable portrayal of the book, though not a fifth as good. While reading the book I kept on thinking, "Why the heck does he have to go into fifty pages worth of that stupid Bishop?" But watching the movie, where they condensed sixty pages of the Bishop into five minutes worth of movie, I suddenly saw why Victor Hugo wrote so much on sideline characters. If I had not read the book before seeing the movie my knowledge of the characters would have been about a third of what it is. I wish so badly that someone would make movies of long books where they don't chop out three fourths of the book. I declare, I think that they probably cut two or three climaxes out of the story in the movie. If you haven't, you have to read Les Miserables, don't settle for watching the movie whatever you do. Now, in defense of the movie, I thought that their portrayal of Javert was absolutely perfect, he was the entire character and more, the Bishop was also very well cast. But, one problem more with the film, Marius was hideous! The poor guy who played him had this broad face, with incredibly close set eyes that made him look sort of pig-like. His and Cosette's romance was the worst thing of all. But Javert was incredible. If you liked the book than you should see the movie just for his sake. 

Gretchen Emily Wolaver

No comments: