Tuesday, January 22, 2013

the sun will rise

I'm not sure I can adequately describe my reaction to the film, "Les Miserables", but for some reason I feel compelled to try to put my feelings about it here anyway. I saw it last week and it occupied my thoughts for days afterward.

I grew up listening to the music and seeing the play. I know every word of every song, and yet I was still completely overcome by the beauty and power of the film. I left the theater exhausted (but exhilarated!).

I think the entire story can be summed up in the quote above. Oh, the misery! It is portrayed so realistically in the movie, down to the unbrushed teeth and dirty fingernails. But as much misery and darkness and suffering as there is, hope and redemption and forgiveness come out on top. And they always will. Life can be beautiful and full of love, despite our sometimes dismal circumstances.

On Sunday, our Relief Society meeting focused on seeking happiness, even when things in our life don't make that an easy task. I was reminded that this happiness is to be found when we are increasing our faith and personal righteousness, and when we are serving our families and others around us who need help. When we have first worked to improve our own lives, we can then help others in their own search for happiness, and we will all feel joy.

And I know I shouldn't liken everything to Les Mis, but I just can't help it today. That is exactly what the hero of the story does. Jean Valjean was given a second chance, and he took it and brought about so much good. First, though, he had decided to be the man he knew he was meant to be. He left his bitterness and anger behind. Only then was he able to help those around him. His life was not easy, but I believe it was filled with great amounts of happiness.

Anyway, did you see it? What did you think? And most importantly, who wants to see it again with me?


  1. I LOVED it. I've seen the play twice and like you,grew up listening to the music...but the movie! Oh the movie. Wonderful! Thanks for this post.

  2. Steph you got the message of the story. I read it in high school and remember it well and knew that I was responsible for my own happiness and no one else was. Happiness come from within and the ability to forgive and forget. So glad you enjoyed it and it definitely is worth seeing;

  3. "I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross.

    On that terrible Friday the earth shook and grew dark. Frightful storms lashed at the earth.

    Those evil men who sought His life rejoiced. Now that Jesus was no more, surely those who followed Him would disperse. On that day they stood triumphant.

    On that day the veil of the temple was rent in twain.

    Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were both overcome with grief and despair. The superb man they had loved and honored hung lifeless upon the cross.

    On that Friday the Apostles were devastated. Jesus, their Savior—the man who had walked on water and raised the dead—was Himself at the mercy of wicked men. They watched helplessly as He was overcome by His enemies.

    On that Friday the Savior of mankind was humiliated and bruised, abused and reviled.

    It was a Friday filled with devastating, consuming sorrow that gnawed at the souls of those who loved and honored the Son of God.

    I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, that Friday was the darkest.

    But the doom of that day did not endure.

    The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. He ascended from the grave and appeared gloriously triumphant as the Savior of all mankind.

    And in an instant the eyes that had been filled with ever-flowing tears dried. The lips that had whispered prayers of distress and grief now filled the air with wondrous praise, for Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God, stood before them as the firstfruits of the Resurrection, the proof that death is merely the beginning of a new and wondrous existence.

    Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

    But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

    No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come."

    Joseph B. Wirthlin, October 2006, "Sunday WIll Come"

  4. I agree 100% about the film and would love to see it again, especially in the theater. And on a completely different note, I made your pumpkin crumb cake for the first time today just because I NEEDED a treat and I have tons of pumpkin left over and it was one of those days where I just could not get to the store. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you it was delicious and to thank you for your pumpkin round up. Well done!

  5. eric and i saw and loved it. some of our family members thought their was too much singing! i won't comment on what i thought of the fact they went to Les Mis. But our memory was the 5'10 280lb man sitting next to eric that was Balling uncontrollably toward the end of the movie. I felt bad for his male room mate that came with him. But it was a great date night. glad you like it so much.

  6. it really is an exceptional piece of film making. i adored it. like you, it has stayed with me for weeks and i was called back to see it a second time not a moment too early. i'm currently trying to figure out how to see it a third time -- while i will be the first to pre-order my blu-ray, it just begs to be seen in the theatre. over and over again.

  7. I hope to see it this weekend. I can't wait.

  8. I haven't had a chance to see it yet but I want to. Text me if you need a date!

  9. I really was in convulsive sobs at the end - the ending is my favourite part, all the lines, all those who died in chorus: "we will live again in freedom in the garden of our Lord... our chains will be broken and all men will have their reward." ah! I'm crying now again just writing it. It hits so close to home.. the scenes of the beggars in Paris look just like Addis, I can't even say. The poverty is so real, but this isn't the only life, right? It's the only thing htat makes the grief of it all palatable. But you have to read the book - this is why I had to read all 1500 pages twice (and wish I had them with me again right now!), if you think the musical is good - the book! the book. It's the most moving thing. Even just read the first 100 pages about the Bishop. They are miraculous. Glad I'm not the only person so moved by Les Mis! love you.

  10. My goodness, it moved my soul. My eyes were puffy for hours afterwards. I never have seen it before, but grew up listening to the sound track adn knew every single word. Seeing it in person and understanding it all at once changed me. such a beautiful story, the music was outstanding.

    I was so sad to hear some women wouldn't go see it in my ward because there was "questionable' content. Questionable content? Ever read the old testament? : )


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