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Les Miserables (2012)

December 22, 2012


Les Misérables
1740, December 21, 2012
Premiere Toho Cinemas,
Roppongi Hills, Tokyo

First things first. I’m not even gonna pretend I have read the original book novel by Victor Hugo nor have I seen any theatrical execution of Les Misérables. With that being said  the only thing I have seen about this was a YouTube video of Lea Salonga singing that emo dying song by Eponine. This is why my opinion about this movie is just that. It is a movie. Sure, sure, I sorta know the plot and have seen the raves and raves about this cinematic adaptation. But let me just clarify that whether or not I loved this movie, it is not in comparison to the original material. If you know what I mean.

Now, as for the movie, it was either Les Misérables or the Hobbit. But given that Japan always show English movies way behind the rest of the world, particularly Manila, I decided to watch Les Misérables instead since that would make me get to see a movie way before the rest of the Philippines (hahaha!) no thanks to the Metro Manila Film Festival which exclusively airs Filipino movies during the holidays. That being said, I would like to request ye all to please watch El Presidente. We need to support movies, quality Pinoy movies, that actually deserves 2 hours of our menial lives. If you watch the other movies, especially those with a lame excuse for a storyline, I am pretty sure it’s gonna be so bad you can actually sue them for stealing from you a valuable resource: time.

Going back to Les Misérables, it was just pretty funny that I ended up watching at the Premiere section of Tohu Cinemas. Ticket prices in Japan are already expensive, so I was really surprised why the fee is 2x what I paid for in Ruruoni Kenshin. It was only when I tried to get in the cinema that I found out the difference. There was no free popcorn though. Just a drink – lemonade for me – which made my decision to buy separate drinks 5 minutes beforehand totally a waste of money.

But upon realizing that I have just come from the last day of Module 2 for my MBA program here in Tokyo plus some personal problems and the fact that I won’t be going home this time around for Christmas, I just said, “tohellwithit” and splurged on myself to have some quality entertainment  I deserve it, methinks.

Heck, I reallyThe movie adaptation feels like watching a play and I say it as a good thing. After all, people just won’t break down into a melody when they’re in anguish, angry, or fighting right? Well, unless they are in a karaoke session with a bottle of beer. But the thing is, even with the superb cinematography, there’s something totally weird about musicals, and so, I like the fact that Les Misérables still felt like a play. It’s like in a half baked world of make believe and reality but rest assured the emotions would reverberate in every musical note. Kudos to these fine actors and actresses who were able to reflect the real emotion of every song. However, the best emo rendition, in my honest opinion, for a musical, would still go for Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia while singing The Winner Takes It All.


I consider myself pretty lucky to have watched this movie with mostly Japanese moviegoers. They respect other people in the cinema and they did not end up humming or singing along as what others have feared would happen in Twitterverse. This made my experience so much better because I could honestly say I was getting my money’s worth. But if you know a song or two from this musical, chances are, your heart would skip a beat each time a familiar tune begins to play.

At any rate, Les Misérables is not for everyone. I was already very interested to watch it, but maybe it is because I still lacked sleep, that I ended up yawning somewhere along the line. But all in all, this movie is something worth watching in the cinemas. Just make sure you watch it with the proper crowd. Otherwise, we may end up (God forbid) hearing about another fatal movie going experience because someone just wouldn’t shut up. Jean Valjean was imprisoned for stealing bread. Anything more violent deserves a harsher punishment.

IMAG1113After watching the movie, I made a quick visit at Tokyo Midtwon for the Christmas Illumination.

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