So we finally get to see our first major adaptation in six years that is not set in a different time/place!
We waited a while, and was it worth the wait? Besides reading the novel, I have seen/heard 22 major non-musical adaptations of Les Misérables so far, which I feel increases my accuracy in comparing this adaptation to others. After watching the first episode, I will give some thoughts on it here.
Some positives for this adaptation:
-Fantine pre-Cosette scenes.
-Baron Pontmercy gets a lot of scenes.
-Jean Valjean post-jail scene where he works in a town but doesn't get paid much.
-Jean Valjean scared out of a hut by a dog in Digne!
Some negatives for this adaptation:
-Frequent grunting/panting and poor acting by Thenardier.
-Jean Valjean's attempted murder on a prison guard! That's not a typo.
-Weird Jean Valjean and Javert interrogation scene.
-Jean Valjean randomly screams at Bishop Myriel before leaving the next day.
-Two weird group urination sessions with Fantine/Tholomyés/etc.
-Jean Valjean purposely, not accidentally, steals Petit-Gervais' money.
-The new non-traditional scenes specifically meant there are less scenes for Jean Valjean, the main character!
-Script needs improvement.
-Acting needs improvement.
The clothing, hair, makeup, sets, camera work, sound effects, music, etc I don't have a huge opinion on, so they are probably pretty good generally. The six hour length is long enough for a decently strong adaptation, although I'd prefer a 22 hour long adaptation. It's yet to be seen more fully whether this adaptation improperly adds/removes/changes stuff. It's not as dark and dramatic as I'd prefer (watch the 1971 Spain adaptation if you want that). Even with some negatives, this is still Les Misérables, has a big budget, and a decently long length, which is great.
By the way I should mention that it is my opinion that Marius' grandfather is a villain in Les Misérables.
This is what I would call an "alternative adaptation", since it's not exactly what we would expect an adaptation to be. Watch and you may see what I mean. It looks like it'll rank around the 50th percentile among the major non-musical adaptations I've seen/heard, and maybe rate 8/10 or 9/10. So far it doesn't appear to be the huge hit we may have hoped for. But still I like this adaptation and we'll see how it goes. I'm excited to watch more and would recommend all of you watch the first episode!