Phelan: ‘Les Mis’ shows humanity’s innate ability to find hope
The newest movie version of “Les Misérables” hit theaters Christmas and has already earned well over $200 million at the box office worldwide. I should tell everyone reading this right now – I account for about $25 of that. No, movie ticket prices haven’t risen dramatically. I’ve just seen it three times because I absolutely love “Les Mis.”
Another warning – I also have seen the theatrical production three times. I read the book my sophomore year, and I recently read the original French version outside of class, on my own. Why? Well, I saw the movie with my mom, then with two different friends of mine. I saw it on stage twice for school, and I brought my family once. As for the books, I really just like reading. But what is it about “Les Mis” that allowed it to win huge at the Golden Globes and keeps people like me coming back?
Truly, it’s about the story. Jean Valjean is the main character, and he was imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. After breaking parole, Valjean interacts with the other characters so that their lives can never go back to the way they were before meeting him. Each character has an extremely rich back story, complex personality and different way to connect to the human spirit. Anyone who has ever regretted a decision can see themselves in Valjean, and women can see themselves in the complicated relationship of Fantine and Cosette.
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