- TV Mini Series
- 6h 12min
Television adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel, which follows Jean Valjean as he evades capture by the unyielding Inspector Javert. Set against a backdrop of post-Napoleonic France as ... Read allTelevision adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel, which follows Jean Valjean as he evades capture by the unyielding Inspector Javert. Set against a backdrop of post-Napoleonic France as unrest begins to grip the city of Paris once more.Television adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel, which follows Jean Valjean as he evades capture by the unyielding Inspector Javert. Set against a backdrop of post-Napoleonic France as unrest begins to grip the city of Paris once more.
The casting of Javert - he's black. We get it. But can we look past his skin tone for a moment and marvel at how brilliant Oyelowo is at portraying Hugo's obsessed Javert? This actor has a way of delivering his lines in a way that makes you hang on to his every word, like you're physically being drawn in - he's absolutely fantastic, a character that you love to hate and it saddens me that people can't see past his race. The point is that it's an adaptation for a modern, British audience, it doesn't have to truly mirror nineteenth century France for us to understand that it is set in ye olden times!
On a related note, the accents. They're British and at times, very cockney and I think that there is a simple reason for this. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between an upper-class Frenchman and a working-class one, because I am not French. Therefore, the director has chosen to use accents that we as a British audience are very familiar with and will associate with certain stereotypes, ie. The Thenardier's, who are from a lower class, have a cockney accent and even say their few French phrases in that accent because the majority of the British Public associate the cockney accent with the working class community. I can only imagine the hullabaloo that reviewers would have kicked up if this stellar cast had attempted butchered French accents - better that they stick to what they're good at.
And for the few who have commented that there is too much sorrow and woe and suffering... What did you expect when you tuned into a show called Les Miserables! Maybe next time, you should consider watching Les Happy People.
Also, I don't know what other people were watching, but the acting in this series far outclassed any soap I've ever seen. I would like to take this moment to appreciate the always wonderful Dominic West - his portrayal of the wounded hero Jean Valjean is truly wonderful. I'm also surprised at the lack of love shown for Lily Collins as Fantine. I have been a fan of hers for quite a while but even I doubted how well she would be able to pull off the tragic Fantine, but it was amazing. I've never been more impressed with her as an actress and I think she deserves way more credit than she's recieved.
Over all, I don't think the BBC were trying to make any sort of statement, or be PC or anything of the sort. I think that the best actors were chosen to portray the roles perfectly and that the script was adapted to suit the target audience, we the British public. And I would highly recommend this series to anyone with a soul who will appreciate the beauty in it.
- Feb 5, 2019