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Old 08-02-2013, 09:59
tracystapes
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I hope Les Mis does well at the BAFTAs on Sunday!
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:25
ironjade
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I apologise because I haven't read all the way through the thread, but a friend is trying to persuade me to go and see this with her and I'm really not convinced by it at all. Is it,as the name suggests a totally miserable film? Does anything remotely upbeat happen or is it all wailing and gnashing of teeth? Just wanted a bit more info before parting with my hard earned cash, and to make sure I won't be in danger of slitting my own throat on the way out
After 15 minutes of it I wished I'd slit my throat before it started.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:29
tracystapes
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Okay this thread is getting disturbing now.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:40
Mystical123
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After 15 minutes of it I wished I'd slit my throat before it started.
That's just unnecessary, could you not just have politely said you didn't like it?
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:54
Bluray
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After 15 minutes of it I wished I'd slit my throat before it started.
I hear ya!! But i'd have gone for a bullet to the head - nice and quick.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:22
tally
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That's just unnecessary, could you not just have politely said you didn't like it?
Some people like to go for dramatic overload.

Given that it's breaking box office records and is on it's 4th week at the top of the UK charts with a 97% wow rating in this thread alone, I reckon I'd put as much credibility to Blurays's opinion as I would about the fact it's not raining outside ( Noah's flood in progress at the moment )

If pps want to see it, check the trailers on You Tube and decide for yourself.

But that's too easy I suppose. It's a 21/2 hour sung musical. Obviously not everyone is going to love it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:30
Kolin Klingon
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Remember how they panned it when it first came out?
Who is laughing now?

Whilst not everyone will like it and no one has to watch something that does not appeal to them, it is wrong to say that just because you didn't like it, it is crap. Would it really have lasted as long as it has and still a global success, seen by a record over 60 million people and now a major film that is doing well at the box office, if the whole thing was crap?
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:35
mimicole
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Just watched the sky arts film special. Why are these shows only half an hour long? They should be an hour

I hope Les Mis does well at the BAFTAs on Sunday!
Fingers crossed!
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:37
shelleyj89
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It's funny, because I've never watched it (the theatre show or the film) and thought "Oh my, this is so miserable!". I've always thought about how all the characters seem so positive and defiant till the end, no matter how tough or bad a situation they find themselves in.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:40
Bluray
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Remember how they panned it when it first came out?
Who is laughing now?

Whilst not everyone will like it and no one has to watch something that does not appeal to them, it is wrong to say that just because you didn't like it, it is crap. Would it really have lasted as long as it has and still a global success, seen by a record over 60 million people and now a major film that is doing well at the box office, if the whole thing was crap?
Mr Blobby, Bob the Builder and The Teletubbies all got to Number 1 on the record charts by selling millions but they were crap
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:40
Bluray
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Some people like to go for dramatic overload.
Oh the irony
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:46
Mystical123
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Mr Blobby, Bob the Builder and The Teletubbies all got to Number 1 on the record charts by selling millions but they were crap
Plenty of other people have also sold millions but not everyone likes them. Whether something is good is a matter of opinion, not fact.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:02
Bluray
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Plenty of other people have also sold millions but not everyone likes them. Whether something is good is a matter of opinion, not fact.
Exactly - that's my point.
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:06
Virgil Tracy
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had a look at the book today - it's 1400 pages long !!

has anyone read it ?
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:36
thenetworkbabe
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It's about the impoverished working class in 19th Century France, and revolution, injustice and atonement. People die, as they did in reality.


But of course there are upbeat moments in it, that's as much human nature as the miserable stuff. I'm not going to spoil it, but there's a great deal of happiness in the ending. And of course there's a love story in it, and a mother's love for her child. And some comic relief in the Thenardiers.


I wouldn't judge anything on what other people say though, you're always going to get different opinions and interpretations - one person's miserable is another's profound sometimes.

Go and see it for yourself and judge
Indeed. Miserables isn't a comment on their psychological condition - its a comment on their being very poor, the way the world is organised, the difference between good and evil, and the nature of human existance. The reality of life is that everyone dies, usually in a nasty way, often alone, and life is full of missed potential. Les Mis softens the blow as much as possible by emphasising the importance of love, working towards something better, and offering the religious way out that things are better in an afterlife. It actually uses every positive story ending their is.

The film dumbs that down for a more agnostic and American audience, by avoiding some of the distinction between good and evil, avoiding the problems of having love continue into the afterlife, and and implying that if you don't succeed with one revolution the next like 1776, may do it, That means some people (Jerry Springer fans?) actually like the dumbed down comedy Thenardiers more than the rest of the story, Eponine isn't shown at the end shadowing Marius her only love, for eternity, and they lose the point that improving society is a continuing never ending task rather than a matter of just beating the British, writing a US constitution, and quoting it ad nauseum at political opponents ever after.
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:59
Mystical123
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Eponine isn't shown at the end shadowing Marius her only love, for eternity.
She isn't shown like that in the stage show either though, she appears when the lyrics are all about Valjean coming through to heaven, even singing the 'Take my hand, I'll lead you to salvation. Take my love, for love is everlasting' bit (the harmony to Fantine's melody line). Having the Bishop makes much more sense, that moment is about Valjean and his atonement, not about Marius or any of the ones who are already dead. Their moment follows with the Do You Hear the People Sing reprise.

If Eponine shadowing Marius is supposed to be the point, the stage show has never done that successfully either.
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Old 08-02-2013, 16:05
thenetworkbabe
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Were the other singers all pro stage musical stars? Never seen them before in a movie, apart from Anne,Russell and Hugh.
Yes. They used a lot of people from present and past Les Mis UK productions and a lot of top West End people. For example the man who assaults Fantine was last seen as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, and Fantine in the factory scene has the current Kate from Kiss Me Kate -who was last seen as the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz - and sha had a former Madame Thenardier standing behind her. The students had pretty much all played students in the show, and Eddie, as Marius ,actually had someone who had played Marius standing by him. The Lovely Ladies were led by Frances Rufelle - the first Eponine - and she was backed up by several recent Eponines. The little bit they showed of Turning, where the women sing about how pointless the revoilution has been, has some recent Cosettes- including the one who sang at the 25 th anniversary who is currently the lead in the Phantom tour. Its almost certainly the strongest west End cast ever assembled for anything.

The problem with that was that the supporting cast actually sings better than probably all but two of the leads, and the ensemble songs between the solo numbers, were there in the stage show to make the story a bit more complicated than what they wanted to show. Add in a lack of time - because they have added some extra scenes for people who wouldn't be up to following the stage show plot - and they end up hacking a lot of the ensemble songs about. Thats a shame because you have the making of a musical with stunning vocals, but a lot of the best vocals must be on the cutting room floor.You could add them back for a directors cut - but that would make it even longer - unless you dumbed it down less and took out some of the added story telling scenes.
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Old 08-02-2013, 16:05
Jenbonjovi
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That's just unnecessary, could you not just have politely said you didn't like it?
Obviously they said that because they were replying to a post that mentioned throat slitting! Personally, I thought it was funny.

The quote, that is, not Les Mis.
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Old 08-02-2013, 16:29
thenetworkbabe
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She isn't shown like that in the stage show either though, she appears when the lyrics are all about Valjean coming through to heaven, even singing the 'Take my hand, I'll lead you to salvation. Take my love, for love is everlasting' bit (the harmony to Fantine's melody line). Having the Bishop makes much more sense, that moment is about Valjean and his atonement, not about Marius or any of the ones who are already dead. Their moment follows with the Do You Hear the People Sing reprise.

If Eponine shadowing Marius is supposed to be the point, the stage show has never done that successfully either.
Eponine has always been there at the end for Marius. She stands behind him, looks down on him, and her hand goes out to him. He is the one she loves, love is ever lasting, and as the line says, to love another person is to see the face of God. She has nothing to do with Valjean - she's hardly going to pop back to see him. The ambiguity is whether Fantine is there for both Valjean and Cosette, and whether seeing the face of God gives Fantine and Eponine - who both die for the one they love (Marius and Cosette) some sort of special (angel) status in the afterlife?

They avoided deciding that by using the bishop and they also used the bishop rather neatly to get Colm who started the whole thing to end the musical. That doesn't make that much sense as the Bishop hasn't done anything thats not in the job description for Bishop - if he loves everyone he's going to be very busy collecting souls and its far from clear where he's taking them if Fantine is left standing somewhere else. The alternative ending may raise too many questions for a mass modern audience though. Aetheists and agnostics might not want to be led further down the religious path, and some people might have problems if in to the after life you are followed by lots of people who loved you, or you divorced.

Strangely the earlier copy of the script they released has Eponine there at the end and clearly expalins its because of Marius - they seem to have changed it later for some reason.

Valjean turns back, face shining, towards the table where
the candles burn in the silver candlesticks. There he sees
three ghosts waiting for him. The ghost of the Bishop. The
ghost of Fantine. And beyond her, watching Marius with
love, the ghost of Eponine.
Fantine comes towards him, reaching out her hands.
VALJEAN
Iím ready now, Fantine.
FANTINE
Come with me
Where chains will never bind you
All your grief
At last, at last behind you
Lord in heaven
Look down on him in mercy -
VALJEAN
Forgive me all my trespasses
And take me to your glory!
124.
Cosette embraces Valjean, weeping.
Valjean reaches up his hands, and lets the ghost of Fantine
take them.
FANTINE/EPONINE
Take my hand
Iíll lead you to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting..
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:04
Mystical123
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Eponine has always been there at the end for Marius. She stands behind him, looks down on him, and her hand goes out to him. He is the one she loves, love is ever lasting, and as the line says, to love another person is to see the face of God. She has nothing to do with Valjean - she's hardly going to pop back to see him.
I've seen the musical twice and don't ever remember getting that impression. Maybe she does do that, but it's barely even noticeable. The focus of that scene is on Valjean and it should be, he's the one who's dying and passing over to heaven. Marius and Cosette are there because he's dying, and the ghosts wouldn't be there otherwise. Eponine shouldn't be there singing to Marius because that's not the point of the scene, the point is the end of Valjean's story. Eponine's story is told, and Marius is with Cosette. A reprise of the unrequited love is pointless and jarring against the uplifting nature of the lyrics and the fact that Valjean is at last at peace.

Eponine singing 'Take my hand...' has never made sense - Marius isn't dying, he doesn't even see her. I can see entirely why that part was cut, it would have been just as unclear on screen as it is to many watching the stage production.

Almost without exception reviews of the movie by people who have seen the stage show have pointed out how much more sense it makes having the Bishop there than Eponine. The Bishop was the one who set Valjean on the path to a better life, a life which ended up with him meeting Fantine, saving Cosette and ultimately saving Marius for Cosette. It's highly symbolic and poignant to have the Bishop there for Valjean's death.

If it had been Marius' death, then yes, Eponine being there would have made sense, but it's not. Valjean is being welcomed into heaven by the man who saved him (the Bishop) and the woman whose sacrifice saved him again and led to joy returning to his life (Fantine). No-one else needed to be there.
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Old 08-02-2013, 17:31
tally
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Ah, but I'm not slating an obviously huge blockbuster willy nilly without backing it up.

By all means hate it, but the fact it's not even a relevant critique shows laziness and going for a reaction that some millions concerned would disagree with.
It's your opinion ,but why do you hate it? Reasons and general critique are fine. You've gone for the three or four word critique that means diddly squat.

I've never hid my love for the show/ film, I haven't played down my totally freakery, so hardly dramatic. I've owned up to what I love about it, you haven't said WHY you hate it, others have.
I doubt you've watched it have you? I wonder if the number of crap acts you've mentioned would be sold out and garnering renewed praise in 28 years time?.

I think the T's and C's say "make your post relevant. Sorry, how does "I'd rather take a bullet" or someone else's "I'd rather slit my throat" bring anything to the table?

Network babe's given a reasoned well thought out account of why she thinks Eponine should have reprised her appearance at the end. Now that I completely respect, although I do prefer the Bishop. But that's probably my schmaltzy nature loving how the original J-V-Jean passed on the torch to the latest incarnation.

Incidentally I hate Francis Ruffelle. BAH she looks as stunning now as she did 25 years ago. S'not fair.

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Old 08-02-2013, 17:42
tally
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had a look at the book today - it's 1400 pages long !!

has anyone read it ?
Yup. It's a long, long read. Victor Hugo's novel explains a lot more and a heck of a lot more characters, which obviously couldn't be on stage or the show. Annoyingly he also goes down side tracks in the middle of the narrative, catching up a couple of chapters later.
But it was a 19th century novel and at least I read it, which is more than I've ever been able to do with War and Peace.

I find Dickens to be a great read, blubbed my eyes out at the last part of "Tale of Two Cities" as I was skiving in class rather than dissecting eyeballs (ugh, poor sheep who were slaughtered for that lesson) but Hugo is a tad too wordy and obtuse for me. I'm glad I read it as the background is much more sensible when put in context. But would I read it again? Nope.

Horses for courses and all that. Some people may love it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 18:06
Lady Spice
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I started to read it a few years ago, but I gave up when it took about 15 chapters just to get to the bishop - and several more to describe him, the candlesticks and all the people he ever met.

I exagerate slightly, but not much.
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Old 08-02-2013, 18:09
Mystical123
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I started to read it a few years ago, but I gave up when it took about 15 chapters just to get to the bishop - and several more to describe him, the candlesticks and all the people he ever met.

I exagerate slightly, but not much.
Same here, been attempting to read it every so often since I was about 16 (I'm 22 now) and still not managed to finish it!
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Old 08-02-2013, 18:41
timebug
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I have read it quite a few times,a superb book! As is War and Peace but not to digress....About the 'Miserables' aspect of things,I was always told (being a non French speaker) that the actual French title,does not translate literally to English,and rather than 'the miserables' a more true approximation would have been 'The Unfortunates'?
Given the setting and the dramatis personnae,that would seem far more apposite, to my mind.
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