Solace of Downpour
By Ericka Sanchez
Social injustice practices unfair actions that are bolstered out in the society. Such quality movie was caught up in the throes of the unfair treatment of the elites and how the proletariats lived in the hands of the highly. An excruciating and more immense portrait of this was depicted with the treatment of characters in the movie, “Les Miserables.” It is an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s all-time classic novel, and one of the greatest novels in the 19th century, directed by Tom Hooper. This masterpiece is about the history of France – the French Revolution — that was spread throughout the world because of its exemplary turn of stories and delivery of emotions.
In the beginning of the movie, it shows how ex-convicts were treated badly. One of the ex-convicts, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), gets free of the chains and broke parole so Javert (Russell Crowe), a loyal tiger of the law, chases him all the way. Valjean manages to assume a new identity – he becomes the mayor of town, and becomes rich. Fantine (Anne Hathaway), a poor lady working in a factory, is troubled because of a letter so she was kicked out of the factory. Because of such pitiful event, she was forced to sell her hair and succumbed to unlikely things to get a hit of money. Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), was an innocent sweet girl who lives a hard life in the arms of the Thenardiers. Javert continues to chase Valjean who is being haunted by the past. Students stand up and take revolt, thereafter, two lovers are married. The victors are triumphant but a death of a certain character is a way to see the win on the other side.
The film echoes the conflict between the highly and the lowly, the elites and the ordinary, and the free and the chained. Every frame feels like you are part of the ancient history, invisible, cannot be seen by the characters in the film. The Encarta Reference Library defines Marxism as “a theory in which class struggle is a central element in the analysis of social change in Western societies.” Valjean showed the struggles of an ex-convict and how abysmally they were treated. He was put behind bars just for a simple reason – he stole a loaf of bread for her sister’s children. This scene posed how saturnine the lives of the have-nots are. Poverty leads one to do unlawful actions risking their freedom to suffice their needs. Fantine showed how inferior the women were during those times. They do not have the right to education. Her character depicted the life of the poor women struggling for money to feed to their children. She sold her hair, two front teeth, and even acquiesced to obscene doings to supply the Thenardiers money for her daughter. Cosette, on the other hand, was oppressed by her aunt and uncle because she’s only the daughter of her aunt’s sister. She was always asked to clean the house and get water from the dark forest without any companion to travel with. The atmosphere in this scene is abhorrent that you can feel your heart tear into pieces.
The Marxist theory poses how dependent the characters and events are to each other. One character affects the life of another character, and a turn of event affects the next event. It creates a medley within the story. Despite the stereotypical notion of historical films which is, “boring,” the singing that has a heart draws your eyes in the screen that you never want to miss a second. The booming sound effects keep you holding on the edge of your seat. Anne Hathaway, time and again, is good as she ever is even though she was just a part of the movie for a short span only. Samantha Barks gave just of innocence because of her vehement delivery of songs. This film is a fiction but it cannot hide the fact that it mirrors the reality of the society today – that there is a barrier between the haves and the have-nots.
The film gave a more burning life to Hugo’s classical piece. Social practices and culture of any time-frame was seen – highlighting the social clash that still continues. It is a history of time and blood that made France halcyon of what is it today. This theatrical extravaganza stood the test of time – no wonder it is a well- loved film across the world.
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