Les Misérables | GFC Review
Every Monday, 12 young film lovers head to our cinema under the stars at Lotterywest Films to take in the best international cinema has to offer.
As aspiring cinephiles, we wanted to know what they thought of the flicks.
Check out the review by Madison on the Oscar Nominee Best International feature, Les Misérables.
The film is not for the faint hearted
Les Misérables is far from a traditional adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel. The film is a
harrowing unveiling of the dark underbelly of modern-day Paris, tackling themes such as
prejudice, misuse of power and socioeconomic upheaval. It is a film that is incredibly relevant to
the world’s current social and political climate. The film realistically portrays the unfortunate
reality of many immigrants living in the poverty-stricken banlieues of Paris.
The film takes place over the course of two days. Each scene is packed with so much intrigue,
keeping the viewer interested in the plotline. It follows the journey of a three-man crime unit,
consisting of corrupt leader Chris (played by Alexis Manenti), the more reserved brigadier
Gwada (played by Djibril Zonga) and newcomer Stéphane (Damien Bonnard), who has moved
to Paris from his hometown of Normandy. Although these men think they are rightfully laying
down the law, they can be incredibly violent doing so, with Chris often abusing the power that
he holds (using his power as an excuse to frisk young girls). As the movie progresses, we watch
as these men try to find a lion cub thief, break up gang fights, and interact with the troublesome
kids who live in the slums of Montfermeil (the same place where Victor Hugo set part of his
famous novel). All of this leads up to an intense, heart pounding final act.
The film is not for the faint hearted. It is angry, gritty, and unsettling at times; with homophobic
and racist slurs being thrown around by certain characters without hesitation. The film is an
eye-opening experience for an Australian audience; it is a scarily realistic look at the darker side
of Paris that is not often shown in mainstream media. When watching, it is difficult to remember
that the events and characters in the film aren’t real; the handheld camera style gives the film a
documentary-like feel, along with the vividly real and raw performances from all actors involved.
“Les Misérables” is an incredibly strong contender for “Best International Feature Film” at this
year’s Oscar Awards. It is a must-watch on the Lotterywest Films program.
Les Misérables shows at Lotterywest Films from 27 Jan - 2 Feb, BOOK NOW.