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Ten Word or Less Review: I dreamed a dream where my head exploded.

Some movies, no matter how packed with high caliber prestige and ambition they may be, simply cannot be digested by some people.  A movie like Les Miserables is difficult to critique because at no point does it fail on its own terms.  It is a handsomely produced, thoroughly dedicated and authentic recreation of a Broadway sensation that millions of people have seen and adore.  Its cast is top notch and clearly emboldened by the material they are bringing to life.  Director Tom Hooper (The Kings Speech) crafts a gorgeous film full of lively camera work and excellent cinematography.  Technically speaking the movie is nearly faultless.  For those people with built investment this movie is a going to be a majestic achievement few other efforts could ever hope to reach.  For those of us with a less reverent point of view towards the source material, Les Miserables is tantamount to a subtle, slow form of torture.

There’s a scene in Zero Dark Thirty, one of the controversial torture scenes, where a suspected Islamic militant is being deprived of sleep through the use of extremely loud heavy metal music.  This probably seems wildly flippant on my part but I honestly started to feel pangs of what someone like that must be going through as I watched Miserable.  The movie feels like one song sung continuously for 160 minutes straight at an incredible decibel level.  Dialogue isn’t spoken, it is belted out for the rafters to absorb and anything resembling subtlety is shunned like one of the poor rabble rebelling against their bourgeoisie oppressors.  It’s a merciless sonic attack at every turn and for those not in tune with what this film is about, it could prove to be a most arduous cinematic sit.  Only a few bits with Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter flirt with mischievousness, briefly breaking up the aural monotony on display.

Fans of this material have clearly voiced their appreciation for this production.  They have diligently applauded the effort of Wolverine, Maximus, Catwoman and the rest of the pack.  Leaving the theater fans hum and sing and feel elevated by the experience.  For those among you curious to see but maybe not sold on the idea, you have been warned.  This movie is going to sing until your ears bleed and ache.  Everyone in it is going to sing the fuck out of every single note and make sure you cry your damn heart out by the end.  If being tied to a chair and forced to endure the musical bombast on display here sounds like a winner to you, God speed and good luck on your journey.  If you thought this movie was destined to split your head open and make your brain run out your ears, it will.



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