27 August 2013
Victor Hugo’s novel is a classic of French literature, and gave rise to the world’s longest running stage musical, which has been wowing audiences in 42 countries since it was launched in 1980.
This film, which is based on the musical, adds even greater realism in its portrayal of this troubled period of 19th Century French history. It is dark, gritty, and passionate.
The songs are sung by actors and were actually recorded as live takes rather than being dubbed. The result certainly doesn’t match the vocal performances of the stage version, but these top actors add an emotional intensity that in many ways surpasses the stage musical versions. Anne Hathaway’s rendition of ‘I dreamed a dream’ conveys in both words and circumstances the hopeless plight of this poor woman, and must rate as one of the most emotionally charged performances ever filmed.