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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Terrible adaptation of great musical, 7 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to watch this film as a lover of the stage show thinking that hopefully it would be a good adaptation with the big Hollywood budget behind it. I was wrong. Some of the casting choices were on name rather than talent which was a shame. A lot of the story line did not follow the theatre version, understandably it didn't need to but for those unfamiliar to the story they would be confused with some of the plot lines. Some songs have been shortened, moved and a couple of new songs added. There were a few bright spots, the great Colm Wilkinson as the priest, the singing of "do you hear the people sing?" linking into the uprising and formation of the barricade was very well done and the finale was visually impressive. Hugh Jackman played Valjean well, however he did struggle with "bring him home" although that was a small fault and otherwise was vocally and emotionally impressive. Anne Hathaway was a little over the top with emotion as Fantine but otherwise good. My biggest disappointment was Russell Crowe, yes he isn't the best singer but as an actor who has won an academy award his acting was non-existent, he could have been replaced by a dummy and no one would have noticed. There was no real menace and every song he sung was the same monotonous nasal tone, and the big emotional suicide was just sung by him and at the end you were glad he killed himself so he didn't have to be on screen again!! Another issue was why all the convicts and factory workers had northern English accents?? Overall a very disappointing effort with such a large budget. For people who have never seen the musical then the film will impress. For those who love the stage version avoid this film at all costs!!