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Sometimes I just really don't know how to feel about a movie. On the one hand; musicals really aren't my thing and I also doubt I'll watch this movie ever again but on the other hand, I just can't deny that this is a wonderful made movie, also especially from a technical viewpoint.

Visually it's an absolutely beautiful movie. The sets, the costumes, the makeup, it's all perfect looking. It helps to set the mood and besides also feels very consistent with the mood and atmosphere of the stage play. Yes, despite the fact that this movie is all grand and spectacular looking, it at the same time also manages to feel like a very intimate one. I feel that in that regard this movie truly did the stage play justice and was respectful toward it, without constantly winking and nodding at it. The movie is truly its own thing and doing its own thing.

The movie almost entirely consists out of people singing. Even normal dialog is being sung in this, which might annoy some people but in this particular case it worked out well in my opinion. It's also most definitely due to it that the music is simply great and the actors all did a fine singing job as well. The movie is filled with some actors you perhaps really wouldn't expect to sing or see in a musical (espeically not Russell Crowe) but it's absolutely true that everyone fitted their role well and did a great job, both singing- and acting-wise. By saying that Anne Hathaway or Hugh Jackman impressed the most, you are not doing the other actors in this enough justice. It's an ensemble piece after all.

But that at the same time brings me to the biggest problem I had with this movie. It's focusing on many different characters, throughout and it's hard to really point out one main character. First it's all about Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), then for a short while all about Fantine (Anne Hathaway), back to Jean Valjean again, next about Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), after that Marius (Eddie Redmayne) and his revolution, etcetera. It's hard to attach yourself to one character really because of this approach, since the movie doesn't spend enough time with any of them to ever become emotionally involved. I get it to this storytelling is supposed to give the movie an epic boost but I for one would had preferred if it was being a bit more focused at times and wouldn't keep jumping to different places, different time periods and different people all the time. I know it's not the movie's fault and that's just simply how the story goes but it just all were reasons why I wasn't ever truly grabbed by the story or ever felt involved enough with anybody's story and motivations.

Still in the long run, it's a rewarding experience, after you let it sink in. It's a long sit, so it might drain you a bit but the good news about it is that the movie never gets a slow or boring one. It's always moving and making sure something is happening. Due to its storytelling, it's never sticking too long with anything or anyone, which is something positive I still took out of its story and way of storytelling.

Whether you like musicals or not, there is just no denying it that this is one fine made movie and despite everything a wonderful viewing and hearing experience!

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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