The classic book, transformed into a phenomenal stage play, and now reproduced in an outstanding movie, meets the viewer on myriad levels. The themes of love and forgiveness ring within me as they these issues currently personally confront me. The ability to forgive over and over and over again as the trespass continues daily with no hope for a conclusion, the ability to love when nothing remains to love — these produce evanescent mists impossible to grapple. Yet Jean Valjean accomplished those feats, and this does not resonate as a “religious” story. Or does it?
The raw horrors of the French Revolution, as well as our own Civil War of that era, remain beyond comprehension. In the last hour of the show, I found it difficult to sit there and not sing the songs with the actors. I will admit I hummed along and mouthed the words several times. An audience a few years ago brought fun and joy as we watched “Mama Mia” and sang along with all the songs. “Les Miz” does not have the lilting tunes of Rogers and Hammerstein, but heavy, difficult-to-sing, glorious songs which resound the theme of the work. I hope, as audiences watch the movie for the second or third time, they will join in with the solos. I can’t wait to own my own copy of this movie and belt out the tunes freely!
I will admit, since the shooting in the Colorado theater, attending public theaters makes me wary as those thoughts consume my mind while watching the show. Tonight, an armed policeman, standing guard in the theater as I entered, eased my mind, and I saw him again as I left. I almost thanked him for being there. I should have! It is mindboggling to me that people think removing guns from sane, trained people, proven to be of outstanding character, will make our world safer. The police do not perpetrate crimes. The policeman tonight brought to mind, if I were still working in a public or school library, I certainly would want armed protection! Insane criminal minds could easily favor a library as a target spot.