I have watched various productions on TV.
I loved the Liam Neeson movie version of Les Mis.
I read the book (abridged version) many, many years ago.
I re-read parts of the book since then.
And I loved the the new Movie-Musical directed by directed by Tom Hooper.
I found God at this movie.
I don't mean I had a conversion experience. By "finding God" I am thinking more of that Ignatian way of discerning, discovering, experiencing God as we make our way through the days of our lives. Ignatius believed that we are meant to experience God, know His presence, share in His diving activity and receive His Words to us in the events of life.
I found God at Les Miserables. How could you miss Him?
As one reviewer said, Victor Hugo never wrote a bad book.
Another review speaks of The persistent greatness of Les Mis.
The themes of Les Miserables are the themes of life and redemption... of sin and evil... of sacrifice and suffering... of love and forgiveness... right and wrong... trust and surrender... of poverty, justice, injustice... freedom and mercy... beauty and truth...
I found God because the characters, the story, the plot pulled me in to the experience of all these themes. It was almost too much... a fire hydrant flow of experience... I left emotionally exhilarated and exhausted.
Anne Hathaway, in particular, gave as moving a portrayal of brokenness, of loss and lostness, of pain, fear, loneliness and grief as I have ever seen/heard. Her song, I Dreamed a Dream is stunning and raw.
I will say little else about the movie, the acting, the singing, the staging . . . at times brilliant, stunning, breath-taking... and at places not as much... Everyone will have their own assessment.
I listened to two critics on a pop-culture, celebrity watch TV program be mostly critical of Les Mis.
Russel Crowe's singing was weak.
Anne Hathaway lost so much weight.
Hugh Jackman was "hot."
Cohen as the inn-keeper was joked about in light of his inane/obscene characters in other movies.
And not once in their critique did they give any hint that they understood (or even noticed) the glorious themes of this great book-musical. Apparently they missed God!
But I found God. I hope you found Him too.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International