This is an epic story that recounts a familiar, reassuring story of oppression, liberation and redemption with themes rooted deep in Christian theology. For those who relish revenge as a dish served cold, there isn’t any to be had here. Instead, there is mercy in lieu of justice, and forgiveness instead of punishment.
Oh, and Hugh Jackman can sing. As can Anne Hathaway, who can both act and sing. Having never seen the Broadway show, I cannot use that as a frame of reference, but having read the voluminous tome by Victor Hugo, and having seen the first movie adaptation of it that featured the inimitable Liam Neeson, I think I can draw some conclusions.
The raw emotion portrayed by Hathaway’s Fantine is palpable throughout her scenes, and she devours the showstopper song ‘I have a dream’ when she opens her mouth. Russell Crowe, on the other hand, although circumspect in his role of Javert, somehow fails to deliver that certain quality of overreaching determination in his quest to capture Jean Valjean. Hugh Jackman, on the other hand, delivers quite the phenomenal performance in his role of Jean Valjean, and again, the man can really sing!