Many books reach there readers at the very core of its texts; and at its unimaginable truth, the book influence the lives of the one who read it. Les Miserables has been filmed for many times and all of these were inspired by Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel. In this review, the 1934 French version will be tackled. The high-profile 1998 US version of Les Miserables by Billie August will be also in review. Among all the cinematic versions of the novel, the 1934 French version of Les Miserables is perhaps the fullest and most satisfying film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel.
The running time of four and a half hour may take back the want to watch the film but once you start watching it, you will definitely love to finish it. The success of the film is due to manifold. The detailed representation and the strength of the characters are largely preserved. The characters are somewhat real and deep in the sense that it reached the reached the heart of its viewers. The depth and number of characters were not sacrificed for the time. The cinematic success of the film is due to its leading roles of Harry Baur as Valjean and Charles Vanel as Javert. They both are immensely faithful and convincing.
Baur’s acting performance was delivered in a slow but articulately manner. His colossal physical presence and slow, controlled delivery of the lines makes him one of the best actors who portrayed Valjean. The 1998 version of Les Miserables are far away from the original 1934 French version not only in its length but particularly in its cinematic art quality. Billie August made many shortcuts in the film. Liam Neeson as Valjean did great in his versatility in acting throughout the film. In the original version, there is also no hint of romance between Valjean and Fantine which was depicted in this version.
Javert hit Fantine in this film which should not be included. This scene will affect the feeling of the audience about the death of Javert at the end. In the film, Javert is also seen as a bad enemy of Valjean rather that a principled man of society. All in all, this movie is quite watchful in its own if you have not read or know the original story of the novel Les Miserables. Reference August, Billie. Les Miserables (1998) movie. Mandalay Pictures Les Miserables (1934). Les Miserables Originals. Retrieved April 1,2009 @ http//www. Mov01342892xyth. html