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shutterspeed777's Movie Reviews (91)

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Les misÚrables (1998) 
A MAN CAN CHANGE
3.5/4 stars

Often mistaken to have occurred during the much earlier French Revolution (1789-1799), the more accurate setting would be the PARIS UPRISING of 1832. I have seen this on stage in Broadway in 1991( my first time to visit New York from Asia) and I was just consumed by it. My brother's educational theatre in the Philippines came up with a Filipino adaptation but was a far cry from the original. But it just goes to show you how far-reaching this play had been, let alone a third-world country adapting it to appear indigenous.

Hence the formidable challenge to come up with a film version. There were, of course, several deviations from the novel. Some would include reduction of roles for characters significant in HUGO's accounts. These will include the Thenardiers, Eponine and Azelma. Even a major figure such as MARIUS got reconfigured, as far as his degree of participation in the uprising/revolution is concerned.

All in all, I'd still say it's a movie worth seeing. LIAM NEESON again brings home the torch. His role as JEAN VALJEAN was a perfect fit. But I'd highly recommend for first-time viewers to go see the stage performance as well. Even if it is labeled as historical/fiction, a lot of it are factual.


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