Full disclosure: I had never seen a production, movie adaptation, read the book nor heard the soundtrack for it, before last night, so my impressions were quite raw.
Anyway - as a person who has the ability to induce nightmares in children sleeping in the next town over should I dare sing, I was quite awed by their ability to sing, first off, and their ability to sing while being so wretched and full of tears, and presumably snot. Mad props.
I liked how the scenery was quite reminiscent of stage set/props at times, especially the barricade scenes. That was cool. And yet, shit like the opening - with the ship being pulled into the dry dock, was phenomenal.
I'm sure I was the last person on earth to familiarise themselves with the story, so suffice to say it was appropriately miserable given the title. I'm sure there is some fascinating psychological study in discovering which specific characters individual people empathise with the most, but honestly - Éponine quite broke my heart. Of course it did not help that I am not a massive fan of Amanda Seyfried, I think it's her big, wet eyes...anyway, yeah - not at all feeling empathetic towards her character and Marius. Perhaps I am too old and bitter. I simply have no time for 'mutual true love at first sight' stories. Rubbish.
"But every day I'm learning
All my life
I've only been pretending
His world will go on turning
A world that's full of happiness
That I have never known"
I mean...come on. Much more realistic, - and far more common.
The music was slightly familiar, but then I'm sure nobody could go without hearing reference to such a famous score at one point or another. And quite sufficiently stirring - all three of us were trying to be most subtle in wiping away tears and snot as Jean Valjean died.
Now, Helena Bonham Carter - so, so good. I've mentioned my appreciation of her skill before so shall not wax lyrical, but hers and Sacha Baron Cohen's performances were brilliant. So, so good.
4 out of 5 (where: 1=actively burning it, 2=waste of time, 3=don't regret having seen it, but... 4=good movie, recommended, 5=blewmymindwhyhaven'tyouseenityetI'vegottoseeitagaintalktoyoulater).