Les Miserables: all about grace

Souljourneyboy and I went to see Les Miserables today – a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

There’s so much I could say (and warning: spoilers ahead); Hugh Jackman was absolutely incredible, Anne Hathaway amazing, and I didn’t mind Russ’s Javert too much, even though I felt like you could tell he was thinking about the singing in some of the scenes, as it is obviously not as effortless for him as it is for the others. Les Miserables is my favourite modern opera/musical, and despite some of the changes in the score (yes, I probably could sing the whole thing through from beginning to end) I felt it transposed brilliantly to the silver screen. These was such a sense of intimacy and immediacy about it that the emotion really did blow me away.

As a Lefy at heart, I love that Les Mis always makes me feel like I want to join a revolution. I love that it has such a strong narrative of social conscious and political activism at its core; whenever I hear “Do you hear the people sing?” I’m like – sign me up!

But most of all, I love that Les Miserables is about grace. It’s about grace triumphing over legalism, love winning over revenge. This was brought home so strongly to me in the scene when Jean Valjean, wearing the uniform of the law, gives Javert back his life in a unwarranted, amazingly powerful act of mercy. Valjean, grace personified, fulfilling the true meaning of law and justice by giving the gift of freedom to his enemy, knowing that the consequences will probably mean his own death.

If that’s not the Christian story right there, then I don’t know what is. I wish Christians (myself included) did that story of grace and love more justice.

For, as the closing song says,

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”

Love and grace. Nothing else matters. I am just so appreciative that Les Miserables tells that story in such a powerful and beautiful way.

4 thoughts on “Les Miserables: all about grace

  1. janinejackson

    These are all the reasons I love Les Mis too and why it will forever be my favourite musical. I was scared the movie wouldn’t be good but I loved it. I think it was brilliant. And I must confess that when ‘do you hear the people sing’ started, I quietly joined in – much to the amusement of my fellow movie goers. I couldn’t help it!

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