|"I'm just a woodcutter...."|
The development of Jean Valjean is intriguing enough to see play out when looking at his humble beginnings. Over time, Valjean becomes a grizzled man who finds himself being more of an early Hudini than a woodcutter. Even at an elderly age, somehow Valjean finds a way of getting around; that's impressive. Richard Jordan as Valjean doesn't disappoint either. Jordan is one those serious actors who always play his role like it were his own. Along his travels he adopts a widow's daughter named Cosette (Caroline Langrishe) and raises her as his own. Angela Pleasence, the daughter of Donald Pleasence, plays the widow. The part that Cosette plays as to her stepfather isn't as prominent, but she does bring about some compelling situations between Valjean and the ever-vigilant Javert. Speaking of which, Anthony Perkins as Javert is credible too. Although he stands like a giant mast, Perkins can be very intimidating as the lead inspector. He really makes things run like clockwork. By far the best chemistry is seen between Perkins and Jordan.
The odd thing is the relationship that Javert and Valjean have reminisced to that of Batman and The Joker from Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008). Except this time, the roles and personalities are switched. Valjean is the miscreant who makes Javert's world a chaos to deal with. Yet Valjean's ideals are more unpretentious than say The Joker's. Javert on the other hand resembles that of Batman, wanting order and will stop at nothing to catch Valjean. The parallels are undeniable. It is a little baffling though to see actors playing French characters and not sounding anywhere close to the accent. Saying monsieur doesn't make you entirely French. The other problem that arises is the forced love interest between Cosette and a rebel named Marius (Christopher Guard). All these two characters do is stare at each other once or twice and they both know they're in love. It's certain that most audiences will not buy into this notion and completely believe that. Rarely do individuals know each other are meant to be by just staring.
|Anthony Perkins as Javert|
The fact that the actors weren't directed to have a more authentic French accents and the main character's step daughter having a forced love interest are the only true crimes to this book adaptation. The actors, music, camerawork and especially the writing make this a special story to witness.
Points Earned --> 7:10