Valijean lives a life on the run for stealing a loaf of bread.
Settling in a remote town, he devotes himself to the care
of the poor, including the beautiful, young, and poverty stricken
Fantine. When Fantine dies, she leaves a daughter, Cosette,
who Valjean raises. But they are haunted by Javert, a policeman
whose lifelong search for Valijean as become an obsession.
A hunt begins that will come to a final confrontation on the
revolution torn streets of Paris...
on Victor Hugo's classic novel, Les Misérables
is an epic tale of love, honour and obsession set against
the dramatic backdrop of the French Revolution. Gerard
Depardieu turns in a first rate performance as Valijean, while
John Malkovich is... well, John Malkovich really.
made for TV movie has exceptionally high production values.
The acting, on the whole, is believable and the sets and location
filming is breathtaking on occasion.
though, many of the scenes didn't seem to be set-up very well.
There were too many times when the passage of time was not
clear. For example, after Cosette's marriage several months
have passed, yet the way that it is filmed it appears as though
it is the next morning. Also, the French Revolution is merely
a background detail, which is never really explained. Okay,
the educated amongst us may know more about this anyway, but
it just seems as though it was a small scuffle between a tiny
number of young men, who hold out against one platoon of Louis
XVI's guards. A bit of bloodshed and and the whole thing is
over by teatime.
French Revolution did many things, unleashed new forces, destroyed
old ideas, offered new promises. Not the Revolution itself,
of course, but the people who made it. An ideal that is also
behind the main characters in Hugo's book. Aren't Valijean
and Javert fighting on opposite sides, both with their own
ideas about the other? In the end don't they too throw aside
old ideas and embrace the new ideology before they vanish?
Valijean and Javert both fight their corner and the end result
is that Cosette and the next generation are free of the shackles
that have bound their parents? But, sadly, this just doesn't
come across in this production.
are no extras at all on this DVD. In fact, you can't even
play the two episodes separately. You can play the whole thing,
or select chapters, but it would have been handy to be able
to have the option of being able to choose between the two
episodes. Also, audio subtitles would have been handy, especially
in the early scenes, as the heavy French accents are not always
easy to understand. Oh, and this production also suffers from
some very poor lip synching in places.
lack of any extras could have been excused if this was being
knocked out at a bargain price, but £20 for a single
disc is a little pricey. How about an additional audio commentary?
A making of featurette? or an interview with the director
on the problems he had bringing this novel to celluloid?
my moaning, I still enjoyed this DVD - It's just that what
is a good production could have been much improved if a little
extra thought had gone into its DVD release.
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