I’ve now seen the new Les Miserables, the one that came out soon after Christmas, three times. The first time I intently listened to every bit of sung dialogue hoping to catch the plot of the story. I can happily say I did so with success! The second time I watched for any nuances I did not pick up the first time. Again, success! This last time, I settled into my chair, zipped up my coat so I would be snug and warm and faded into the movie.
I became Fantine with great, and yet so simple, dreams of a beautiful life. A life beyond what she could see, taste and touch. And my heart absolutely broke as she gave into the reality that her dreams were dying before her eyes. Life killed the dream she dreamed.
I became Cosette wanting a papa, wanting to be safe. My heart soared when Jean Valjean finally arrived, swept her away and gave her back her childhood with a beautiful gift – a real doll. I immediately allowed myself to think that falling in love in one day was normal (musicals have a way of doing that) and longed with Cosette to be reunited her with lover, Marius.
I entered into another character, more a set of characters, this time that set me back for a minute. I became one of the revolutionaries. Now, if you know me at all you know I love to follow all rules to the T. Stepping outside of the norm and pushing the boundaries is not something I easily connect with…that is…until I married a man whose passion in life is to fight injustice.
My eyes have been opened over the past year to the outright injustices the majority of our world face every day. The most astonishing part is not how emaciated they are or how many deaths happen daily due to preventable diseases. The most shocking fact of all is that they are enslaved to this lifestyle. Most were born into poverty, do not have the resources to sustain a healthy lifestyle, do not have the Gospel and thus pass on poverty to their children. It’s deeply engraved into their lives. Poverty has enslaved them.
Let me break here to say that my understanding of the French Revolution is terrible! I have little to no understanding of what happened, why it happened or how it happened. I don’t really know who was right and who was wrong. All I know is the quote from the Queen who said, “Let them eat cake!” But do I really need to know more? Doesn’t that quote and the fact that she said it with such ease and naivete speak for itself?
My favorite song in all of Les Miserables is “Do You Hear the People Sing?”. It grips my heart because of the very question it’s asking – Do you hear us? Do you hear the majority of the population of this earth singing? We are angry at the injustice that has been dealt to us and once we’re free we will always be free!
I will sing with them.