Les Miserables

On Friday, I went to see Les Miserables. Make fun if you want, but I loved it. The songs were moving, the visuals were spectacular, and the acting was great. However, perhaps the most interesting thing about the movie was the setting. The movie takes place from the fall of Napoleon to the second French Revolution. This is really interesting, because there is not the impression of sweeping change throughout the movie. The urban poor make appearances throughout the movie (I’m not sure whether they’re the sans-culottes at this point), but they don’t appear to be enlightened, or even happy. While this could just be artistic license, I still found it interesting that the poor are still poor here after the Revolution and Napoleon. Did this great upheaval really result in no lasting change for the French common folk? Was the whole Revolution in vain? Because the movie portrays the Revolution as being a waste of time that leaves the people in as bad, if not worse, of a position than before. This movie really makes me want to read more about what happened in France after the Revolution and after Napoleon stepped down. I’ll have to spend some time on Wikipedia!

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One Response to Les Miserables

  1. sophie says:

    Carrigan, I agree with you, Les Mis was amazing. You make an interesting point, shouldn’t the urban poor at least have a new positive outlook on life post-Revolution? Things were so much better than before. You could be right, it might be for the dramatic purposes of the movie, but it seemed that the people didn’t change much. Although, I can’t help but think that big changes don’t happen overnight. The happiness of the French would come with time. Thinking about Anne Hathaway’s character, even after the Revolution she still worked in a factory as a single mother barely having enough to eat until she passed, really because she couldn’t handle life anymore. Everyone surrounding her seemed to be in the same situation. I don’t think that their situation was worse than pre-Revolution, however I don’t think things can go straight from dreadful to spectacular in such a short period of time. I can only sympathize for people like the characters in Les Mis who struggled so painfully during that time period.

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