I’m really into musicals so of course, I freaked out when I found out Les Miserables was going to become a movie! Unfortunately, I didn’t watch it until yesterday. YESTERDAY! Can you believe it?! But let me tell you, it was AMAZING. I have to say it is one of my favorite movies. It was definitely well worth the wait. I’m saving now to watch it on Broadway one day with one my best friends. I’ve even cried at couple times throughout the movie. I never cry.
The movie title literally means “The Miserable” because of how terrible the government was to its people during the French Revolution. Later into the movie, the revolutionaries stand up against the King and attempt a coup d’etat.
Let me guide you through the movie through the music. You should know the characters if you want to keep up!
Look Down by Gavroche, Beggars, Enjolras, Marius, Students
Don’t look ’em in the eye
Look down, look down
You’re here until you die
The sun is strong
It’s hot as hell below
I’ve done no wrong
Sweet Jesus, here my prayer
Look down, look down
Sweet Jesus doesn’t care
I know she’ll wait
I know that she’ll be true
Look down, look down
They’ve all forgotten you
Jean Valjean, also referred to as 24601, his prison number, was sent to prison for stealing bread for his sister’s dying children. He and fellow prisoners sing this song in hopes of coming home (I’ll know she’ll wait, I know she’ll be true) while others lose hope (You’re here until you die, They’re all forgotten you). Their only hope is their God (Sweet Jesus, here is my prayer), which is still letting them down (Sweet Jesus, here is my prayer).
This is an ongoing song throughout the musical and movie that are sung by the beggars 18 years later that are getting ready for the revolution to overthrow the government (coup d’etat!).
At the End of the Day-Factory-Factory Women, Fantine
At the end of the day you’re another day older
And that’s all you can say for the life of the poor
It’s a struggle, it’s a war
And there’s nothing that anyone’s giving
One more day standing about, what is it for?
One day less to be living.
Fantine, who is working to scrap up money to send to her daughter who is being taken of by inn owners, is despised by her other factory workers because they believe she is favored by the owner. They discover she has a secret child and turn against her, getting her fired. “It’s a struggle, it’s a war” and “And there’s nothing that anyone’s giving” gives a basic idea of how miserable everyone is with all hope lost.
I Dreamed a Dream by Fantine
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
I’m pretty sure everyone knows this song from Susan Boyle’s famous audition on Britain’s Got Talent. I first heard this song on Glee (sad, yes I know) and I fell in love with it. I annoyed my family by singing it all the time with the instrumental. Fantine, who had sold her hair and teeth and became a prostitute in order to take care of her daughter after she gets fired from the factory, sings this song , feeling hopeless. As she says, “When hope was high and life worth living” and “And dreams were made and used and wasted” it shows how things have changed and how impoverished the king has left his citizens. “I dreamed that God would be forgiving.” shows how important religion was and how God had disappointed them.
FUN FACT: The director, Tom Hooper, wanted his actors/actresses to sing during the actual scene without any voice-overs so Anne Hathaway had to practice singing “I Dreamed a Dream” while crying. Anne Hathaway lost 25 pounds for Les Miserables eating lettuce leaves to become Fantine.
ABC Cafe/Red & Black- Maurice, Revolutionaries
It is time for us all
To decide who we are…
Do we fight for the right
Red – the blood of angry men!
Black – the dark of ages past!
Red – a world about to dawn!
Black – the night that ends at last!
Woo! We have come to the height of the movie! The revolutionaries sing this as they prepare for their revolution, of course. I love how they use red and black to describe the scenes. It’s amazing how a few people with the same beliefs can come together and make a difference by fighting for what they believe in.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
One last song!
Even though this has nothing to do with coup d’etat, I just had to include this song in because it’s my favorite.
On My Own-Eponine
I love him
But every day I’m learning
All my life
I’ve only been pretending
His world will go on turning
A world that’s full of happiness
That I have never known
Eponine is my favorite character. Along with I Dreamed a Dream, I also sang this song ALL the time. Eponine is in love with Marius, who is in love with Cosette, and basically, she gets friendzoned by Marius because he asks her to help him meet Cosette. Even with her abominable parents, she doesn’t do anything to sabotage Marius and Cosette’s relationship and she actually helps them get together, as she griefs in silence. And she disguises herself as a boy (like Mulan!) to help with the revolution and dies valiantly in Marius’ arms.
I’m going to see this on Broadway one day. Along with Miss Saigon.