Filed under Movies
The legendary Broadway musical hit that the silver screen last fall is now on DVD . . .
I’ll never forget the first time I saw Les Misérables on Broadway. I was hooked. Every time I had the chance to visit Manhattan, I was sure to make the time to catch another performance. In all, I saw it at least five times.
It wasn’t just the sparkling performances or the incredible score, but rather it spoke to me as a brilliantly inspired parable of God’s mercy. The film version of the British musical — by Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer, which is in turn based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 French novel — became a box office sensation last year. Recently released on DVD and Blu-ray, it’s now the third-highest grossing musical of all time.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s set in 19th-century France. When Jean Valjean (Jackman) is released from prison after serving 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread, he breaks parole to create a new life for himself, but has to evade the ruthless Inspector Javert (Crowe), who’s determined to bring him to justice.
Within the next eight years, Valjean creates a new identity and life for himself as a wealthy factory owner and the mayor of Montreuilsur- Mer.
Valjean’s transformation from ruthless convict to legitimate businessman becomes possible when a Catholic bishop extends a hand of friendship and extraordinary mercy after the parolee steals the prelate’s silver.
By God’s grace, Valjean subsequently extends a hand of mercy whenever he has the opportunity to do so. While on the run from Javert, he adopts the orphan daughter of Fantine (Hathaway), one of his workers, which sets off a cascade of events that culminates in life, death and redemption at the barricade in Paris during the French Revolution.
The deeply Christian themes throughout the film, together with the ground-breaking live-voice recording of the soundtrack, make this a must-see film for fans of Broadway musicals and for people of faith.
PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.