This is not the review I've been unable to write yet. It is simply thoughts from a selfish person.
It was the same for many hardcore Les Miserables fans--the movie was terrifying. So many things could go wrong. Some things would obviously have to be sacrificed and new things would be added. Also, it would be in the hands of the common man to critique, under-appreciate, misunderstand, or, worst of all, paste on fashion journals and Claire's jewelry. It was something we cherished and hoarded, something we wanted to share with a select few and could only be adored after careful study and loving care.
Eventually it was brought to my attention my attitude reeked and, after almost a week of butterflies and in trembling, almost hysteric anticipation, I went to the theater Christmas evening. I couldn't process it to begin with. I couldn't talk about what had just happened and I certainly couldn't discuss anything else. I went home and sat in the middle of my floor and stared at the wall.
I'm still mostly speechless and haven't been able to formulate a true review even with many attempts. If it wasn't for my family, I might still be leaning my head against a theater chair and rocking back and forth with occasional groans and gasps.
Les Miserables will be treated lightly by many, laughed at by others, and offensive to some, but I think most will emerge from the dark movie theater into the world, shaken up and a little uncomfortable, with a new sense of awe and wonder. Such is my case.
The story is sure to be talked about, discussed, seen, appreciated, and yes, under-appreciated too. But the important thing is it's getting shared and spoken and screamed and played out in front of people's eyes and in people's souls. Perhaps our hesitation or inability to discuss or share it with one another is because it's akin to becoming stripped of everything we have and shown the true story of our own selves--hopeless, angry, alone, sinful, black. This is who we were, with rotten teeth or a pressed inspector uniform, and then something bigger--mercy, love, grace, light--the painful, tireless, devastating love of God. Yes. It means misery and death, but it also assures us that even the darkest night--the sin of our own souls--will end, crucified to a cross, and the Sun will rise.