Les Miserables is my second favourite book at the moment. And I had my first experience as a fan of a book seeing something I dearly love being put on screen and that something failing completely to measure up. I’ve watched countless adaptations of classics, usually enjoying both the books and the TV/movie versions. I even liked the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice, so come on, I’m not picky! But this. This failed me. I think it missed something vital to Hugo’s art of storytelling and altered my beloved Jean Valjean.
I’m talking of the BBC miniseries. The obvious distractors of illogical casting choices aside (I was much more disturbed by the black Thernadier children than by the black Javert. I could imagine some rare circumstance under which a black man could become a police inspector in 19th century France, but two white people having black children flies in the face of basic biology), those aside, I didn’t feel the story. The book makes you feel the story, it’s all about dragging you through the sewers of misery, but the TV series…. The emotion isn’t there. Jean Valjean isn’t the magnificient figure he is in the book. For example, I couldn’t feel his doubt and torment in the court scene, while in the book it was one of the most intense chapters.
They’ve also made him worse than he was, which misses the main point of Hugo’s story. It is also strange to me that Fantine is the centre of the poster. To sell the story better you need a pretty girl, but come on. Les Miserables is the story of Jean Valjean and all others are supporting characters.
In conclusion, disappointed. I hope they make a new one. The musical I’m not going to watch because I don’t like musicals, having too much an autist’s brain for them.
Small rant over.