(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Sunday, January 6, 2013
I finally went and saw this because my friend Erin works at the new Regal cinema in Bellingham. As my roommates and even cinephilic boyfriend can tell you, I very rarely go to the movies without it being someone else's idea (I'm more likely to watch Netflix or borrow one of the hundreds of DVDs Grace, Trisia, Sara and I collectively keep on our bookshelf). Also, Bellingham has trained me well and I find myself averse to the sanitized, corporatized, movie-going experience.
Give me something a little dirty and grungy and local. Or just local since all the ones I linked to are pretty clean that I've seen.
Spoilers contained after this point, you have been warned.
Ah, right, Les Misérables (it's French originally so it's not pronounced less miserable, in fact, judging from what I saw on a GIANT SCREEN with an amazing sound system, I would say that they're quite miserable. Google tells me it translates into English to mean "The Wretched"). That's what I was going to talk about.
I liked it. It was pretty. It was everything I've been told by the raving hordes of internet/theatre fans. Visually and cinematically, the level of detail they went into was mind-blowing. Anne Hathaway made me tear up... twice. First when she entered prostitution to earn money for her daughter, an unfortunately all too real struggle many women find themselves going through even now, and second when she died.
My natural sass and refusal to deal melodrama made it hard to take a lot of the rest of the characters seriously (see for reference English majors reacting to people who call Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet a love story without understanding the full implications of the actions within the play).
Yes, Marius, Cosette is a pretty blonde, but you haven't even met her yet. What in hell are you doing telling me you're completely in love with her?
Inspector Javert, what are you? Quit walking around on the edges of high places. Do you have a suicide wi-oh.
Eponine, the stupid boy doesn't like you, quit mooning ab-- oh well, nice hat, since you can't have him you're going to join in the revolution effort? As long as you believe in the same ideals of freedom and democracy, who am I to tell you not to join in.
And I know, some of you are reading this, probably thinking I missed the point. For one quick example: Javert is a conflicted man because all he's doing is his job (as Valjean points out to him repeatedly) for a system that the People are rebelling against. He offends our democratic backgrounds because he represents the staunch refusal to accept change, and enforces the law as it stands mercilessly and in ways cruelly. To borrow alignment language from DnD, I would call him Lawful Good/Neutral working for a system that is portrayed as having become Evil inasmuch as it no longer works towards the good of the people rather than maintaining the status quo.
I don't dislike the characters at all and I love (LOVE) the socio-political discourse at work. This is a revolution after all, dealing with a corrupt and unfair prison system. Highly appropriate given the current state of the world!
After the little blonde kid (never caught his name, wikipedia tells it's Gavroche) gets martyred, part of me was hoping it would lead to full insurrection, but alas, history proved otherwise and all the pretty boys died. Have I mentioned the eye-candy yet? Because it's sweet.
I'm told that the stage version with full musical numbers helps lesson the...angst (though that's not quite the word I'm looking for) as highlighted in the cinematic version. If I could watch it in mute, I would have been so much happier. I mean, when Cosette and Marius actually talk and there's butterflies flying around implying they're soulmates or Fantine dies and the flag behind her says "mort" which is French for "dead," I'm enraptured. And I'm sure Victor Hugo's original novel probably had none of the musical appeal of this adaptation.
Maybe this is a sign I'm not one to suggest musicals to (just a guess).