Les Misérables

Adapted from Victor's Hugo novel, of the same name, Les Misérables has been a long-running musical blockbuster since it was first opened in Paris in the 1980s, then followed with a massive success in London when produced by Cameron Mackintosh, who also produced its movie version. The sensation did not stop there. Instead, Les Misérables became one of the highest-earning broadway show in the U.S. Now, the movie hit the box office and the name continued to become a worldwide sensation. It is incredibly rare, in the film history, that a sung-through musical movie is filled by an outstanding ensemble cast of high caliber that killed the acting and singing part altogether; Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit, Russel Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter. Introduced on the musical movie, was rising young stars such as Isabelle Allen and Daniel Huttlestone. With Tom Hooper's direction and Cameron Mackintosh's huge contribution to musical theatre, Les Misérables movie has left 3more apparent imprint on people's heart. Thanks to Hooper's idea to record all the cast singing live during the shooting, instead of recording it before, then lip-sync during the shooting. The lack of cinematography or visual effects required the cast to really portray and pierce our soul when they had to-- and it worked!! (It's brilliant! Hats off to all of them)

I, as a musical-theatre enthusiast, (have been so since I was seven) as well as the fan of the music of Les Misérables, really anticipated this movie since the cast for the movie was announced just at the beginning of 2012. The moment I knew that Anne Hathaway, Jackman, Seyfried, Redmayne and Barks would join the movie version of one of the world's best musicals, I knew that they would kill it or else they'd die.

I have watched Jackman (on Oscar and Tony) and Anne Hathaway (Oscar and movie, Ella Enhanted) sang several times (and they both always killed it, as usual), Samantha Barks as Eponine in Les Mis 25th anniversary concert, Eddie Redmayne acted in several movies such as My Week with Marilyn or Yellow Handkerchief and not to mention Amanda Seyfried who played in Mamma Mia movie, which was a successful musical movie as well. Now wonder why I had deep faith in them that they would take everything by the storm.

(Do I have my favorite moment? No. I loved every second of it. For real. And I tears did almost stream down my cheek several times especially when Fantine, Eponine and Valjean were about to pass away... it's so unfortunate that it's always the tough thing to face ...and the finale though, I barely could breathe)

Comment on the cast;
  • I had no comment on Hugh Jackman (Jean Valjean). He won Tony. Through his live performances on Oscars and Tonys, no wonder he is an instant target for the movie. He can look good with beard, distinct voice and charisma. He is Tony's heartthrob for universe's sake! haha. 
  • Anne Hathaway (Fantine) did break my tear glands when I first watched the trailer several months ago, where she sang I Dreamed a Dream. She freaking killed it. I could not think of anyone else that could do any better job than her. That was the true-est performance that the world has ever witnessed. It was only a simple cinematography, barely used effects or awesome visual but the music and the high notes just strike the audience. Planets just appeared to be aligned when Anne and Tom Hooper found each other, just to make Les Misérables movie to happen.
  • Samantha Barks' (Eponine) rendition of On My Own was one of the most emotive ones I've ever heard. Not to mention that she sang it under the rain. The high note was bone-numbing; so cold, so heartfelt. It really signified that disregarding Taylor Swift to portray Eponine was one of the best decisions ever, and picking Barks for the role was the best that they could have done.
  • Eddie Redmayne (Marius Pontmercy) killed Empty Chairs at Empty Table. He also gave Marius a feel of romantic, while mostly Marius was portrayed with bad-ass and heroic attitude. That really signified that disregarding Nick Jonas to portray Marius was one of the best decisions ever, as well (yup, we don't expect Disney). His baritone voice solely enhances his charm, after his freckle and other gorgeous facial features.
  • Amanda Seyfried (Cosette) did a very extra-terrestial (read: out of this world) collaboration with Eddie Redmayne when it comes to be with a heart full of love. I love her passion and vulnerability in her voice. There were a couple of times when her voice became shaky but that made everything flawless because her feelings were just so real. Seyfried's beautiful bird-like soprano was finally exposed to the world. THANKS, HOOPER.
  • I don't care if Russel Crowe (Javert) really can sing or not but what matter to me is that he was portraying Javert. That alone took more than training. In my eyes, he did really tremendous job. In response to everyone's joke about Crowe: there are many other people who can't actually sing but somehow got famous, that you guys can joke about. At least Crowe is a great actor and he made himself famous through his movies, meanwhile some took advantage of YOLO, boobies, sex tapes.
... Along the way, Les Mis has celebrated its 10th and 25th anniversary. It has been celebrated in not just one, but at least a dozen of countries around the world. That alone, is already a remarkable achievemtn for a musical theatre. We shall wait for its 50th anniversary ;)


Huzzah! A new year to live on is here! I had one of the best times of my life and I was beyond happy for being able to spend the last days of 2012 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. Look it up on Google and you can already discover what it is. No explanation needed about the city. Well-developed. Rich in history and culture. It is one of those vibrant cities along the famous Yangtze river. I am so glad my dad let me join the trip/camp.

The best part of joining the trip here, is that I got to experience a homestay! I passed 2012 with my family host, and especially my homestay host, Bing qian-- I am almost 11 months younger than him. We have several things in common: 
1) Mando-pop, in which both of us listen to Lee Hom and Jay Zhou (google them). We got to spend the New Year's Eve with watching them, and other Chinese-Taiwanese artists performing live on TV until the countdown began. 
2) Calligraphy, in which he is very awesome at, meanwhile I have an interest learning it. And he has cool calligraphy books too! Wish I could photocopy them while I had the chance to do so.
3) TV Series and Anime, in which we both love Detective Conan =) By the way, one thing did surprise me; Bing qian's favorite actor is Wentworth Miller. 

..anyway, putting the talks about it aside, I had great times exploring the city as well with fellow campers, who apparently, came from different places in Indonesia; Palembang, Bali, Tasikmalaya, Solo, Medan and many more! 

Here are several pictures I took:

Sunlight was very rare here.
The one on the right is Bing qian, my home-stay host. He's in senior high school on prep for final exam. He was really good-natured and thoughtful. Not to mention that his family was very warm-hearted. I felt so welcomed and I am going to miss them. Can't wait to return to Wuhan and meet them again someday!
"..if you don't see this clock, you don't wish to visit Wuhan"

Jianghan Rd, one of the famous shopping area in Wuhan

New Year's eve at Yangtze riverside
January 1st 2013: make dumplings

January 1st 2013: see Yangtze River bridge no. 2

January 1st 2013: with Bing Qian and his father

January 1st 2013: I miss childhood

Fellow campers from Bus #3!!


... A couple of problems:

They cancelled the trip to Yichang, where I could've visited the famous Three Gorges and the dam, because of the weather. I would be just fine with it if they were the one to explain but they did not. So it was a huge disappointment. They had no sense of being responsible for that particular matter, knowing that visiting the Three Gorges was one of the main reason I joined the camp. I lost my chance. 

That's too bad.

At first, I was offered Hubei and Hunan camp. As I looked at booklet Hunan camp, Zhangjiajie was the only place I knew-- I did not know the rest. In comparison to Hubei camp, they offered a home-stay programme and there were more places that I would love to see. So I decided to go to Hubei instead, although Hunan and Hubei are next to each other. 
Little did I know, Willis, who was on the same bus with me told me that some would leave on 7th because they would go to Zhangjiajie. Apparently, some requested and paid additional fee for two nights trip to Zhangjiajie by train from Wuhan. I could've extended my stay to visit Zhangjiajie in Hunan, if I were persistent enough-- unfortunately, not much gut. I had to pay more, booked plane ticket to return to Jakarta and many more. Everything was covered prior to our arrival at Hubei. Things were prone to go wrong, yet I had to manage all those things in just two days. I wish I had known about it earlier. Again, I lost my chance. 

That's too too too too bad.