Saturday, 19 January 2013

Love in Action

"Les Misérables" has just come to Leicester – the film version of the highly successful musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel. Technically and emotionally, it was superb. It was the only film I've ever been to where the audience clapped at the end.
But what struck me were the many resonances with Christian doctrine. From near the outset, there is the theme of mercy and forgiveness as mediated practically by the Bishop to Jean Valjean when a penniless ex-convict. However, the biblical theme of Christ's condemnation of the ungrateful servant comes to mind when Jean Valjean, as the successful factory owner and Mayor, fails to recognise the plight of a worker, Fantine, who falls into prostitution in consequence.
Jean's repentance and new life are in evidence as he finds Fantine’s daughter, Cosette, and raises her as his own. His way of love is further shown in the way that he repeatedly refuses to take his vengeance on Inspector Javert, who pursues him as a fugitive for having failed to register his bail.

The film concentrates much on the plight of the poor and it is well to be reminded of what has been described as Christ’s "bias to the poor."

This film was one which showed what a powerful influence for good film can be. It was also a pleasant change to find a Christian minister (the Bishop) portrayed in a sympathetic light.

Les Misérables is not light entertainment like most musicals, but a film that will move you emotionally – and is also very thought-provoking, if you will let it be. Do go and see it!