A Facebook friend posed the following questions:

Wondering how many people who are seeing the Les Mis movie never saw the show on stage? (How many people over the age of 30 never saw the show on stage?)

I have seen neither. Some in my family and many of my friends have seen both. As a family we saw a couple of movies over Christmas but not this one.

That may change.

Some time back, I viewed the movie version with Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush. Since returning to New York, the buzz for the current film has led me to check out other versions starting with the 1935 movie starring Frederic March and Charles Laughton. Can a trip to the theater be far behind?

Victor Hugo’s story remains compelling. It is also contemporary – the themes of the tale remain with us to this day. And it is theological covering grace and forgiveness and redemption and understandings of justice.

Today’s viewing of a 1978 made-for-TV movie with Robert Jordan and Anthony Perkins reminded me of that. It also contained a piece of dialogue I had not heard before and that will stay with me for a while.

The movie concludes with a scene at the wedding of Cosette and Marius. Gillenormand, Marius’ estranged grandfather appears at the end of the service and greets the radiant couple in a tender moment .

The couple leaves the church and Gillenormand and Valjean speak:

Gillenormand: “I’ve been a fool.”
Valjean: “Oh sir. We’re all fools for most of our lives. It’s unavoidable.”

I do not judge anyone else. But Valjean’s words work for me. They truly work for me.

Now I find myself thinking that, not only is it unavoidable that I am a fool much of the time, perhaps a trip to see the film and the stage production and maybe even time to read the book (the full version not the comic book version I remember as a child nor the abridged version from college) have also become unavoidable.

Perhaps I will see you at the barricades.

Certainly I will … see you along the Trail.


Filed under Family, Movie, Music

2 responses to “Unavoidable

  1. Sean

    Do you plan to read the unabridged version in a translation, or in the original French? There’s a free English translation available on Kindle that I downloaded a long time ago…I may have to read it, too.

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