/ Les Miserables

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Trangia - on 29 Jan 2013
I'm being taken to see this by the other half on Saturday. Anyone one seen the film? I struggle with complicated plots so will I enjoy it? :)
Tony the Blade on 29 Jan 2013
Al Evans on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia: I liked the songs in the stage musical version, not sure I got the story, can't imagine it as a film?
Bruce Hooker - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

There have been several film versions of the book, it's as good a plot as any by Dickens.
BigHell on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Mrs H loved the film . Once was enough for me excepting my short views of the film yesterday . See my rant regarding aspect ratio

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=536304&v=1#x7196463

Problem for me was the two main male lead roles are supposed to hate each other,but this didn't quite come across, well not for me.
bluebealach - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia: Seeing with the girlfriend this afternoon.

Not sure what 2hrs 35mins will bring, but she says we can sit on the back row just in case its crap!! :-))
Clarence - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> There have been several film versions of the book, it's as good a plot as any by Dickens.

True, I remember the 1982 version as being a really good one. It works much better as a straight drama than a musical.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084340/?ref_=fn_al_tt_8
Fraser on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to bluebealach:
> (In reply to Trangia) Seeing with the girlfriend this afternoon.
>
> Not sure what 2hrs 35mins will bring, but she says we can sit on the back row just in case its crap!! :-))

Calm down - she just means you're allowed to fall asleep if you're not enjoying it, nothing more! ;)

James_86 - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> There have been several film versions of the book, it's as good a plot as any by Dickens.

Les Mis was written by Victor Hugo not Dickens. I havent seen the film yet, but considering the length of the book I would imagine the film plot would be hard to follow as they would have to leave so much detail out (unless the film is a couple of days long...)
Fraser on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to James_86:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Les Mis was written by Victor Hugo not Dickens.

<cough>
Only a hill - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to James_86:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Les Mis was written by Victor Hugo not Dickens.

Indeed, but the plot does have some Dickensian characteristics (melodrama, implausibility, pathos, grand scale, extended timeline over many years, moralising themes).

Personally I love it!
Tim Chappell - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to a couple of people:

Bruce H didn't say Les MisÚrables was by Dickens. And he's absolutely right--Les Mis. is very Dickensian. It's like 4 of Dickens' best novels rolled into one.

Reading it, in French because I hate translations, and because Hugo's own prose is so damn good, was one of the great experiences of my adult life. It took me about 6 months in 2010. I knew nothing about the musical till I saw the film the other day. The musical is also, I think, an exceptionally good musical. And the film is a triumph. Two highlights for me were Fantine (I've never liked Anne Hathaway before, but she's breathtaking in this) and Gavroche.
Tim Chappell - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to a couple of people)
>
> Bruce H didn't say Les MisÚrables was by Dickens.


The clue's in the name... Dickens' novels tend to have English titles...

Mind you, it's an interesting question how "Les MisÚrables" should be titled in English. It's now established that we just use the French title, but what would be the right English title?

Most definitely not the literal translation-- "The miserable ones". Nor something like that only more idiomatic--"The wretches", "The pitied", or whatever.

I think if Hugo had been English he would have given his novel an abstract-noun title: I propose "Destitution".
seankenny - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Erm, you do know one of the key characters commits a crime early on in the story and is forgiven by a priest? Given your views on criminals expressed elsewhere, you might struggle with this...
Bruce Hooker - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to James_86:

> Les Mis was written by Victor Hugo not Dickens.

Yes, I do realise that! I was reacting to the view that it was a complicated plot. Victor Hugo occupies a place in French literature a bit like that of Dickens for the English... with the exception that as a person he was more interesting. His progressive political views led him to leave the country... ending up in Jersey of all places. After a few years he was kicked out of there for criticising Queen Victoria, another point in his favour but found refuge in Guernsey! (I just looked up the last snippet on wikipedia, I knew he was in Britain somewhere but couldn't remember where). An altogether fascinating character who marked the 19th century.
Offwidth - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Is there a 20 minute inpenetrable punk rant somewhere in the middle about the crimes of the church (re monastic life) in the filmed musical, or was that just a nightmare I had?
Tim Chappell - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

In the novel Victor Hugo has a set-piece about the church. The point of it is that the church is widely denounced, but does good, not evil.

Les Mise'rables is a profoundly Christian novel: it's about redemption and grace, and it's about judgement vs mercy, and it's about forgiveness and atonement and substitution. VH writes out of Catholic-French convictions, but also out of Republican-French convictions--and like many others in 19C France, he struggles to reconcile the two.

Someone said above that Javert and Valjean are supposed to hate each other. Not a bit of it. Neither hates at all. But while Valjean understands Javert's passion for justice, Javert cannot understand Valjean's ability to forgive, an ability which Valjean learns from the Bishop of Digne right at the beginning of the novel.

It's one of the great Christian works of art; it's right up there with the Divine Comedy.
Offwidth - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

I'd suggest his enlightenment and religious influenced take is that monastries do much damage, even perhaps evil, albeit with no-evil intent; and that the established Church is very much guilty in that, and is being unchristian; just like the system of punishment, also nominally based on no evil-intent.
Tim Chappell - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

You might suggest that, but what would your evidence be? The Bishop of Digne is the established church. He's clearly one of the heroes of the book. (Have you read it?)
Offwidth - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell: So are the monastries part of the established church. I thought one of Hugos key points is we are all 'miserables', so there is no such thing as a pure hero (and thanks for the cheap shot...as a quick guess would that be unwarranted meaness coming from a christian?)
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Tim Chappell - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth:


He certainly thinks no one is a pure hero; but the Bp of Digne is pretty close.

Cheap shot? Eh? What cheap shot? We're discussing the book; you think it's unfair of me to ask if you've read it?
Pursued by a bear - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> it's an interesting question how "Les MisÚrables" should be titled in English.
>
> Most definitely not the literal translation-- "The miserable ones". Nor something like that only more idiomatic--"The wretches", "The pitied", or whatever.
>
> I think if Hugo had been English he would have given his novel an abstract-noun title: I propose "Destitution".

I've always imagined that in English it would be called 'The Glums'.

T.
Tim Chappell - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Apparently an American lady who works in a cinema ticket-booth took notes on what people were saying when they asked for a ticket... in no time at all she'd clocked "Less Missed", "Less Miserable", "Lay me", "That lesbian film", and "Le Whatever".
Blue Straggler - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

> Most definitely not the literal translation-- "The miserable ones". Nor something like that only more idiomatic--"The wretches", "The pitied", or whatever.
>
> I think if Hugo had been English he would have given his novel an abstract-noun title: I propose "Destitution".

The Damned?

I haven't read it or seen any adaptation, but it's what sprang to mind before I even got to any of your suggestions

Tim Chappell - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Now *that* would be some rock opera.
Blue Straggler - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> you think it's unfair of me to ask if you've read it?

I think where Offwidth is coming from here is that you do have a long of history of badgering people with accusative lines of questioning (I seem to remember you were a few months ago losing an argument with someone once on here (but on a non-climbing topic) and had to resort to repeatedly asking "do you climb?"

You didn't come out of that one looking good ! :-)

Blue Straggler - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Did you know that The Damned was the title of a Visconti film set around the Reichstag fire of 1933, made a bit before Captain Sensible started bothering us with his beret?
Offwidth - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Not unfair just cheap. Anyway one of the best books I ever might or might not have read (if you take out the monastic rant). As someone who was 'volunteered' for sunday schools of three different christian denominations as a kid, it was made for me. I just love stuff that shows what christians could be like if they tried a bit harder and practiced more what they preached ;-)
Offwidth - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: "You didn't come out of that one looking good ! :-)" Maybe he should try that beret (I hadn't realised you were that old!)
Blue Straggler - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

I am a whippersnapper, but Captain Sensible used to randomly turn up on Saturday morning kids' TV, none of us kids knew that he was in some punk rock band called The Damned, he was just a funny/cool looking random occasional guest dude
bluebealach - on 30 Jan 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> Anyone one seen the film? I struggle with complicated plots so will I enjoy it? :)

Just back from Ambleside and Les Mis.

Don't know what all the fuss was about, loved it from beginning to end. I'm not a musical or opera buff and have never seen the Les Mis stage play. Apart from one wee part after five minutes where Jean Valjean goes from convict to factory owner (an 8yr interlude) which threw me for a couple of minutes I found it quite easy to follow.

Helena Bonham Carter who has received less than favourable reviews is great in her part as Madam Thenardier, but Russell Crowe as Javert cannot sing but hey ho.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised and had a great afternoon!!

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