I don’t tend to cry at films; I’m not the tearful sort. However, today, in the midst of a sea of fellow students, I bawled my eyes out when the cast of Les Miserables sang their hearts out in a final rendition of “Can You Hear The People Sing?”. This has always been my favourite song from the stage musical version, and the first time they began to sing it on screen I felt a little bit teary. But I was not prepared for every character to climb up on the magnificent barricades that only really existed in the proud and loyal minds of the students who wanted freedom for the people, and to sing it with more fervour and pride than I thought was actually possible.
Other than that song, Javert placing his pin on little Gavroche’s jacket also hit a spot. I think the fact that only a few weeks ago I saw Éponine (Samantha Barks) and Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone) onstage in Dublin playing Nancy and the Artful Dodger in a brilliant production of Oliver! made it all the more real then when they lived and suffered on the cinema screen, larger than life but still very realistic. The fact they sang everything live made it grittier and more lifelike again.
I initially thought that the fact they sing everything would be a bit jarring, but after about the first five minutes you stop thinking it’s ridiculous and just get into it. The fact the songs are amazing makes it all the easier.
Anyway, I’m going again tomorrow night, and will probably have more to say about; things I missed this time around. Go to see it on the big screen, it will make the final powerful scene all the more overwhelming.
Have you seen the film or the musical, or read the book? How do you think they compare to each other?